When divorcing, a Statement of Net Worth is that annoying financial form
your attorney/mediator sticks in front of you and says, “Fill it
You look at it, start sweating, and think, “Oh no! Where do I start?”
I find that most clients hate filling out their financial statements. These
are the forms required of clients in matrimonial cases in New York to
disclose their income and assets.
Filling them out can be time-consuming and tedious. And yet they must be done.
Sometimes clients fill them out to record their marital lifestyle. Sometimes
they are used to represent what an individual will need going forward
with or without children in the home.
The good news is a Statement of Net Worth will acquaint you with what you
have been spending to live. Many clients also use this vehicle to get
a handle on their budget and spending which may not have been on their
Here is a small sampling of what is needed in the Statement of Net Worth:
- Family Information:
Names, birth dates, family composition, occupations, employment.
Mortgages, rent, equity loans, utilities, phones, internet, food, clothing,
dry cleaning, life insurance, health insurance, dental, medical, pharmaceutical,
automobiles, education, gardening, vacations & domestic help, just
to name a few.
Earnings, investment income, social security benefits, disability, veteran’s
Cash, savings accounts, checking accounts, stocks, bonds, and real estate,
followed by retirement accounts like pensions, 401 (k)s, profit sharing
plans and deferred compensation plans, cars and boats, and jewelry, art,
antiques and household furnishings.
Student loans, equity loans, credit card debts
Once you have completed your Statement of Net Worth, you have a picture
of how much it took to maintain your marriage financially; it will be
a blueprint of the expenses to be met once divorced, and it will disclose
what will be considered in equitable distribution and for negotiation.
Ask your lawyer what is needed at each stage of your case. Sometimes it
is helpful to include only necessities. Sometimes your lawyer may advise
you to include as many luxury items as you can (such as vacations, massages,
and household help). Is the document being used in Court or in negotiations
between lawyers? Remember you are swearing to the truth of your statements
Don’t just take a stab in the dark at your Statement of Net Worth.
Make sure to have a thorough discussion with your lawyer about how to
fill out your financial forms so that it will best represent the facts
in your case.
Would you like to see what a Statement of Net Worth looks like?
Email me to receive a free sample so you can get an idea of what you will
be expected to share about your lifestyle and your finances. You can send
your request to
For those of you considering divorce, I am currently offering a free consultation.
I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Call 212.734.1551;