With spouses considering divorce during these financially trying times,
I am working closely with my clients to define and carefully consider
their incomes, assets and financial preparation for their lives after divorce.
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 dread 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. But, 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. Many clients also use this vehicle to get a handle
on their budget and spending habits which may not have been on their radar.
Once your Statement Of Net Worth is completed you will have a solid picture
of how much it costs to maintain your lifestyle financially and will be
a road map for what it will cost to continue that lifestyle once divorced.
It will also outline assets, property, etc. to be considered for negotiation
and equitable distribution.
Here is a small sampling of what is needed in the Statement of Net Worth:
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, 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/mediator what is needed at each stage of your case. Sometimes
your lawyer may advise you to include as many luxury items as you can
(such as vacations, massages, and household help).
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.
For those of you considering divorce, I am currently offering a free 1
hour consultation. I will be happy to answer any and all of your questions!
For over 35 years as a divorce attorney and mediator I have been guiding
spouses successfully to find the right path to divorce. If you need help
with your divorce, call me today!
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are very informative and conveniently still available virtually!
I look forward to speaking with you.
Call Attorney Lois Brenner Now to schedule your FREE consultation!