One of the most important documents during a dissolution proceeding is a Financial Affidavit. A Financial Affidavit is a sworn statement that the Court requires both parties to complete within thirty days of the Return Date. The Return Date is the date by which the Plaintiff must serve the Defendant with a Summons and Complaint, the two documents which begin the action, and return the served documents back to the court. The affidavit itself consists of the affiant’s income, expenses, assets and liabilities.
The Court provides two Financial Affidavit forms for parties to fill out. The first form known as a “short affidavit” is for parties whose assets total assets equal less than $75,000; the second form which is known as a “long affidavit” is for parties whose total assets equal more than $75,000. At Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie, LLC we have devised our own format based on the Court provided forms. This provides our clients with a more tailored approach as many of our clients have sophisticated pay structures or assets that need particular explanations.
When filling out a Financial Affidavit, there are a few key points to keep in mind. Parties should include all sources of income and should be as detailed as possible. For example, even though a party may receive an annual discretionary bonus that fluctuates from year to year, it is necessary to reflect this information on the Financial Affidavit. When showing a party’s expenses, it is important to keep in mind that the Financial Affidavit is a snapshot in time but should accurately reflect all expenses. For example, most parties only pay for snow plowing during the winter, expenses such as this need to be annualized so that the Court receives an accurate depiction. When disclosing a party’s assets on a Financial Affidavit, only assets which are in that particular party’s name or are jointly held with a third party, should be included on the Financial Affidavit. If the marital residence of the parties happens to only be in the husband’s name, that asset would only appear on the husband’s Financial Affidavit. Parties should also remember that their Financial Affidavit is a sworn document and that all of the information included in the Financial Affidavit must be true and accurate.
How does the Court utilize my Financial Affidavit?
In Connecticut, the Court requires each party to submit a Financial Affidavit in order to get divorced. This allows the Court to view each party’s financial picture quickly and in an organized manner. This aids the Court in determining an equitable distribution of the parties’ assets and liabilities. The Financial Affidavit is also used to determine each party’s income, which the Court uses when determining both child support and alimony.
Financial Affidavits are also utilized by the Court in other proceedings, such as post judgment Motions for Modification of support obligations, or Pendente Lite Motions to Appoint a Guardian ad Litem. In proceedings where the parties are asking a Court to appoint a Guardian ad Litem for the minor children, the Court may use Financial Affidavits to determine the ability of each party to contribute towards the Guardian’s fees. In Motions for Modification of support orders, a Court will utilize Financial Affidavits to determine the parties’ respective incomes and expenses and compare those to the parties’ Financial Affidavits from the last judgment or relevant order to determine what if any changes have occurred.
When do I need to file a Financial Affidavit?
The first time a Financial Affidavit must be produced in any dissolution action, is within thirty days of the Return Date. In addition, in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes Section 25-30, Financial Affidavits must be filed with the Court at least five days before a hearing concerning alimony, support, or counsel fees or before the actual date of dissolution.
At Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie, LLC, our attorneys are experienced in drafting Financial Affidavits for a range of financial circumstances. We ensure that each party’s Financial Affidavit is accurately portrays our client’s entire financial picture.