Common Errors on the Financial Statement

Financial statement errors jeopardize your credibility in front of the court.  It is crucial that you give the court, and the opposing party, a financial statement that is as accurate and watertight as possible.  Here are some common errors to avoid:

1) Page 1 of the Financial Statements asks you if you have any income from household contributions.  If you are living with a boyfriend/girlfriend/new spouse, you should check with your attorney about how to complete this section. It is quite possible that your partner is making a household contribution if they are paying for more than their share of the rent, utilities, etc.

2) The final section of the Financial Statement asks you to list your liabilities.  Think carefully about money you owe.  Do you owe student loans?  Do you have an outstanding mortgage?  Did any friends or family members loan you money for your attorney’s retainer?  All of these debts should be included.  

3) The Financial Statement requires you to list income and expenses in WEEKLY amounts, not monthly.

4) There are two Financial Statements.  If you earn less than $75,000.00 per year, you should complete the short form.  If you earn more, you should complete the long form.

5) Whether you use the long form or the short form, you might feel like there is information that you didn’t have space to include.  When in doubt, include extra information and explanations for all your figures.  This can be accomplished by attaching an addendum, or adding footnotes to your Financial Statement.