The Probate and Family Court requires parties to file updated financial statements throughout the course of their case. The purpose of the financial statement is to give the court a full picture of the parties' finances and for each party to explain their finances to each other.
The financial statement is one of the most important documents you will file with the Court and is always signed under the penalties of perjury, meaning untrue statements on the financial statement could lead to criminal prosecution.
Completing a financial statement can be daunting and often leaves parties scratching their heads as to how to complete it. We hope these tips set you on the right path for properly completing a financial statement for your next hearing.
Which Form Should I Complete?
Which form you should complete is determined by your gross yearly income before taxes:
- If your income is less than $75,000 per year, you should use the Short Form
- If your income is greater than $75,000 per year, you should use the Long Form
A detailed breakdown of each section of the Short Form can be found here.
A detailed breakdown of each section of the Long Form can be found here.
Tips for Completing the Financial Statement
- Everything on the Financial Statement is shown weekly. If you know the monthly amount, you can divide it by 4.3.
- Take your time! The financial statement is not meant to be filled out the day before you go to Court. You should take your time preparing your financial statement at the beginning of your case and adjust prior to each hearing. If you wait too long, you may not be able to gather all the documentation you need to complete your financial statement in time for submission to the court.
- Gather documents you may need to assist you in completing your financial statement. The financial statement is a breakdown of EVERY expense you have, so make sure you have all your monthly bills on-hand to verify that you have the correct amount in each section.
- Be honest. As previously mentioned, untrue statements on the financial statement can lead to criminal prosecution so it is important to always fill them out truthfully.
- Submit your financial statement on time. There is usually a specified time your financial statement needs to be submitted to the Court before your hearing. Make sure you know when this is, and that you stick to it. If you are unsure when you need to submit your financial statement, check the Notice you received from the Court – you may be able to find it there. If not, reach out to the Register's Office and they should be able to tell you when your financial statement needs to be submitted.
If you would like to speak to an attorney about representing you and assisting you in completing your financial statement, please reach out to schedule a free consultation.