The Financial Affidavit
The Financial Affidavit is a comprehensive form mandated by the Illinois Supreme Court requiring divorcing couples to fully disclose their expenses, assets and debts to the other party at the onset of the divorce proceedings.
The court has prepared a fillable form found here.
This form is used to assist lawyers and the court with resolving issues such as support, attorneys’ fees, injunctive relief and other matters during the divorce process. The financial affidavit of each party must be provided to the opposing attorney but is not to be filed with the court in order to protect your privacy.
The financial affidavit is one of the most important documents in your entire case, so it must be filled out as properly and as accurately as possible. If necessary, the attorneys or their paralegals at Feinberg Sharma, P.C. can assist you in filling out this form or find you professional individuals who can help you. The latter is a costly endeavor.
Why Do I Need to Complete a Financial Affidavit?
A financial affidavit is mandated by court rule and an essential part of the discovery process. No discovery can be issued nor can you seek support or attorneys’ fees from your spouse until your financial affidavit has been completed. The financial affidavit demonstrates the income, expenses, assets and needs of each party and their children. The statements on the form must be accurate as they are made under oath by the parties and under penalty of perjury. When not completed properly, there may be sanctions imposed by the court.
What Information Do I Need and How Do I Gather the Information Necessary?
Your income and expenses on the financial affidavit are monthly averages, so it may be necessary to look at the entire year of expenses to come up with an accurate average amount. For example, utilities fluctuate depending on the season. You can call your utility companies to get the last year’s expenses. You will need copies of tax returns; checking account records; and credit card statements. Credit care year-end summaries are ideal for this purpose. Life insurance policies provide ownership, coverage and cost information. You will need your mortgage statement which should show the outstanding balance due and monthly cost and possibly the real estate taxes. All of these documents can be gathered prior to filing for divorce.
Income Information: As financial affidavits require a party to disclose their income, you will need to provide your recent pay stubs and tax returns if you are working or filing joint returns. These documents will also show the deductions taken from your gross pay, including taxes (federal and state); FICA; Medicaid, HSA deductions and health insurance premiums paid by you or your spouse. The tax returns will show either a payment due or a refund paid or applied. It will also show various types of retirement accounts and interest bearing accounts. This is why we ask you to bring in two years of income tax records when we first meet with you. The tax return provides useful information about your estate that will need to be disclosed.
We recognize that the financial affidavit requires a lot of information early on in the divorce process that may seem daunting. At Feinberg Sharma, P.C., we are prepared to discuss this process with you and to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Remember that we can help get you through this process as efficiently and effectively as possible.
© 2020 Shannon M. Luschen for Feinberg Sharma, P.C.