WE HELP FAMILIES RESOLVE CONFLICT PEACEFULLY


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Financial Statement and the Importance of Honesty

As part of any family law case in Massachusetts (including divorce, paternity, child support, modifications, etc.), Massachusetts Supplemental Probate Court Rule 401 requires that each party file a complete, true, and accurate financial statement. For individuals earning less than $75,000 per year, their financial statement is the "short form." Individuals earning more than $75,000 are required to fill out the "long form."

A surprising number of individuals don't take the financial statement seriously, only to be surprised when their financial statement is scrutinized by the opposing party or the judge. When we receive a financial statement prior to a court hearing, we compare the income versus the expenditures, as well as to any previous financial statements. In addition, we review whether the opposing party has listed items such as interests in trusts and businesses, digital assets, patents, valuable collections, and whether the reported income is consistent with previous tax returns and loan applications.

When you sign a financial statement, you are signing under oath that it is complete, true, and accurate. When the opposing party shows the judge that your financial statement is misleading, your credibility comes into question. As countless grade school teachers have lectured, honesty is the best policy.

1 comment:

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