A financial affidavit is a legal document that outlines an individual’s assets, liabilities, gross monthly income, and living expenses. It is generally required for all family law cases that involve divorce, child support, or alimony. In these instances, both parties involved are normally required to complete one. The information each person includes is then calculated, using a specific formula that determines his or her monetary obligations to the other party, if necessary. Each person who completes a financial affidavit for court submission is required to provide truthful answers.
In cases that involve child support, a financial affidavit will show the available income of both the primary residential and non-custodial parents. Based on the information provided in these two documents, a guidelines worksheet is completed, usually by an attorney. Both of the parents' incomes are calculated to find the total amount of funds available for the child, or children’s, care. The percentage of each parent's financial responsibility is determined by individual income, future earning potential, certain living expenses, and the needs of the child.
Aside from child support, when a couple files for divorce, there are usually assets and liabilities that need to be legally addressed. A family court judge will decide, or approve, an equitable division of the property, such as the family home, cars, boats, or other items of value. There may also be certain bills — such as auto payments, credit card debt, and a mortgage — that require fair division between the parties. A financial affidavit will show the court a complete account of the family's situation to be sure that the sharing of valuables and liability is fair, and based on the resources of each person.
Even if the couple agrees about the way assets and liabilities will be split, a judge must generally require completion of the sworn documents. This is to ensure that the settlement between the parties is realistic and appropriate under the circumstances. It may also be used to determine an alimony payment order from a husband to a wife, or vice versa.
A financial affidavit is completed under oath. It requires a signature of the person who completes it, and normally, a seal from a notary public to authenticate that signature. Proof of income, such as tax returns and paycheck stubs, is often needed to collaborate with sworn statements relating to available income. Knowingly making a false statement on a financial affidavit is a crime, and can result in serious consequences in many court jurisdictions.