What is a mandatory disclosure? And do I have to do that if I’m getting a divorce?
If you’re in a divorce or even a custody process, you are subject to rule 16.2, which is the the procedural rule that requires you to exchange all of your financial information with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Mandatory Disclosure Starts With A Sworn Statement
On the really basic level you start with a sworn financial statement – a big long form you fill it out the best you can as complete as you can. The sworn statement assures everybody in the divorce proceedings that the financial numbers are accurate and are correct. So the opposing attorney can’t come back and say that you were not telling the truth in your divorce.
Wile it’s true that most people settle in a very civil way and if you make a mistake you can always amend your sworn financial statement. So it’s more important to do it and do your best than to never do it at all.
You’re also required to produce documents like all tax returns for the past three years all of your business documents for the past three years all of your bank statements, personal statements, stocks bonds retirements even stuff even like stuff like inheritance. You may wonder why should my spouse even know about it because it’s from my grandfather – even that sort of thing has to be disclosed.
Even though you’re going to ask the court to not share any of it with your spouse they still have to know about it other things that you have to disclose
Mandatory Disclosures With Business Financials Can Be Tricky
If you have your own business, you will need to share a sworn statement as to what your income is. If your business is a bigger business (higher income) then, more likely than not, you’re going to be sharing bank statements. You will want to see expenses and revenue and possibly you’ll be matching up revenue and expenses and dissecting those to figures to find out what expenses are really part of the business.
So, have all of your financials ready and cleaned up before you start your divorce!
Home Values And Proof Of Debt Are Important Too
It’s important to determine what your house is worth, if you were able to get an appraisal or a valuation around the time you were married. Also, values for homes you owned before you got married will be helpful too.
Your attorney will need all statements of debt like credit card statements. I normally like to see for three years if you can get them and loan statements personal loan statements mortgages car loans everything all of that nature. And then one of the big things we need is statements of employee benefits so if you have that brochure from the Human Resources person that you threw away the day you got you were hired – great. If not, go dig that up, that could be useful.
We also need all your pay stubs, sometimes you’ll get like a year year-end printout of everything and then each pay stub is helpful, we need that too because usually it’ll say you know year to date for health savings account and year to date for retirement and more.
You’ll want to show if you’ve taken a loan against your 401 k or whatever and then any income you get from other sources. If you have rental property you need to be able to show the receipts that you get from that rental property. And it would be wise to have the information on how much that property is worth and how much you spend taking care of that property.
Other things that you might want to show receipts for would be like children’s tuition in school or children’s expenses for soccer practice or new clothes or whatever after day after school care all of those sorts of things
Other Financial Documents That Are Helpful With Mandatory Disclosures
Then, any other document that you can possibly think of that would show how much money you have where your money is property you have or what your money like what your item is worth are great to have. One really common one is to use Kelly Blue Book to get a printout and figure out what each vehicle you have is worth.
Full Disclosure Is Best
Your motivation for all of these things other than it’s straight up required by the law is that if your spouse finds out that you didn’t provide all the information then they have five years after your divorce to come back and relitigate everything and try to get more money from you! This alone is a good reason to try to follow the the law try to think it clear through clearly and make sure you’re giving the court everything they need!