As a part of the Dissolution of Marriage process, each party is obligated to give a full disclosure of their financial information to the other party. Each party, or their Attorney, will compile the gathered information into a formal packet called either a Preliminary or Final Declaration of Disclosure packet. When compiling your information, it is of the utmost importance that you disclose ALL financial information available to you. This is also the time to discuss with your Attorney all questions and/or concerns you have regarding your financial information. Just as important, however, it is not a time to try to conceal any financial information for any reason.
Your Attorney can only properly serve your best interests if he or she is given all financial information and its origin. It is imperative that you have total confidence in your Attorney’s ability to represent your best interests, especially at those times that an outcome may not be your desired one.
It is important that you retain an Attorney you trust and have a good rapport with . When you are discussing your finances with your Attorney will explain what constitutes separate and/or community property assets and debts within your marriage. The failure on your part to provide a full disclosure of your financial information, including all bank accounts held in your name; any retirement plan(s); and full disclosure of your income via current pay stubs, can create have adverse consequences in either concluding your matter or having to re-visit your Dissolution of Marriage action after the Judgment has been filed. Knowingly omitting an asset or debt of the marriage and not addressing it in the Judgment can result in unnecessary attorney fees in having to re-visit financial issues within your case and filing an Order that includes the omitted asset or debt and how it is to be divided between the parties.
It is not advisable to diminish your credibility in the eyes of your Attorney. He/She is the person you will be working closest with in disclosing the assets of your marriage and negotiating division and settlement of those assets . Be totally honest with your Attorney about your financial information and produce all information and documentation available to you, as well as any further supporting documentation your Attorney may request. This creates an atmosphere where you not only disclose all financial assets, but you can further discuss all of your concerns and/or questions about any such assets. Having the knowledge of how all financial assets and debts owned during the marriage will be divided and/or awarded between the parties will give you peace of mind. It also assists in your ability to move forward financially after a Dissolution of Marriage.
Please contact our office if you would like to discuss this issue in further detail with Attorneys Richard Bawden or Robert Kochis.