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While divorce is largely an emotional and personal event, it is also a legal process. As such, it typically requires participants to fill out and submit a lot of paperwork.

One such document divorcing spouses will need to complete is a financial accounting of each person’s income and expenses. This information can play an important role in resolving child support, alimony and property division matters. Below, we explain a few important elements of these documents. 

Why these documents are significant

Financial documents provide a snapshot of the assets and debts each person — and the marital couple — has. This information can help parties, including a judge, determine what a person could reasonably afford to pay in child support or alimony. It could also make it easier to identify and divide marital property. It also provides insight into the marital lifestyle to which parties have become accustomed. 

What to include in them

These statements can be simple or quite complex, depending on what a couple or individual has. In either case, Pennsylvania statutes requires that Income Statements include: 

  • All sources of income
  • Contact information for employers
  • Benefits from unemployment or workers’ compensation
  • Social Security income
  • Fringe benefits
  • Pension distributions
  • Real estate property you own
  • Savings and checking account information
  • Stocks or bonds you own
  • Insurance policies
  • Business ownership income

Expense Statements are not a requirement in every divorce, but in the event that they are necessary, they must include:

  • Mortgages
  • Medical expenses
  • Child care expenses
  • Alimony payments
  • Loans and debts

Addressing errors and omissions

Especially in complex divorces, it is possible that a party will make mistakes or omit information in these documents. Whether someone does this intentionally or not, it can cause serious problems. Parties could face accusations of fraud or hiding assets. They may also need to revisit negotiations and agreements that stem from the inaccurate information.

Financial paperwork can seem daunting and overwhelming during a divorce, and mistakes and oversights can have costly consequences. As such, seeking legal guidance to assist with these and other critical pieces of paperwork can be valuable.