The financial details you provide in your Case Information Statement will determine whether your divorce is successful or not. You may have regrets about your marriage, but you do not want to have regrets about the divorce. So, you need everything right to ensure that the divorce process is effortless. To make this possible and to avoid costly disasters that will prolong the divorce process or take away your parental rights or force you to pay more than necessary in child and spousal support, do the following:
Don’t hide your assets and debts
In the divorce, discovery should be a complete list of your assets and liabilities, bank accounts, securities, pensions, business interests, vehicles, savings plans, and any other retirement accounts. You also need to write down all your debts. It might be tempting to leave out some details, but if the discrepancy is discovered, your standing with the court or the arbitrator will be hampered severely.
Note that even if you play it out smartly during the divorce, the assets you left out may be discovered later and that means going back to court to correct the discrepancy – the entire court process and inflation will easily cost you more than you can imagine.
Lay out all your income details
During Divorce Discovery, you are required to give all the details of your income, including the extra side jobs you do. You are not supposed to lie, especially in the Income Analysis section because this is the section that demonstrates your ability to support your kids or spouse and your inability. However, if you quote less than you earn inflate what you earn, you will be in trouble.
The truth is, most people have more than one source of income and submitting 1099s, and W-2s will not be enough. Besides ensuring that you are not asked to pay more for child/ spousal support than you should, giving out accurate details ensures that your lawyers build a strong case for you. You should also provide contracts and then explain their meaning/ use to ensure that you receive enough money in alimony or child support. On the other end, that information ensures that you are not asked to pay more than you can afford.
Don’t guess your monthly expenses
You need to provide the court with an accurate representation of your monthly budget. In the budget line lies monthly payments, shelter, as well as details of transportation and other personal expenses. When you are unsure, you are safer indicating a reasonable average value, and you shouldn’t be sloppy in your calculations.
Overestimating or underestimating your expenses will have a negative effect on your settlement. Low-balling means that the other side of the case will not object and that means that you will struggle with expenses, including child support and alimony. And, if you overestimate your expenses, you may lose your standing with the judge, and you could be accused of falsifying information – another expense you may not afford.
So, keep those receipts to ensure that you paint an accurate picture. If you don’t have all your receipts and if your child has a condition that increases your monthly expenses, use a whole month’s receipt and get a doctor’s note to explain extra dietary and medical expenses.
While it is understandable that you are worried about FLA BC and taking your kids on holiday after the divorce, you should always be honest with the Divorce Discovery.