As a divorce attorney/ mediator for over 35 years, I have seen many clients
look scared when I hand them a Statement of Net Worth. The good news is
there is nothing to fear, and I’m here to help!
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.
A Net Worth Statement is a critical financial document. It provides a comprehensive
overview of each spouse's financial situation, which is essential
for equitable distribution of marital assets and determination of support
Filling them out can be time-consuming and tedious. But,
they must be done. Your financial future depends on it. This information sets the stage for
what will be included in your financial settlement.
Sometimes clients fill them out to record their marital lifestyle. And
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 tool to get a handle on their budget and spending
habits, which may not have been on their radar.
Here is a small sampling of what is needed in the Statement of Net Worth:
Family Information: Names, birth dates, family composition, occupations, and employment.
Expenses: Mortgages, rent, equity loans, utilities, phones, internet, food, clothing,
dry cleaning, life insurance, health insurance, dental, medical, pharmaceutical,
automobiles, education, gardening, vacations and domestic help, just to
name a few.
Income: Earnings, investment income, social security benefits, disability, veteran’s
Assets: 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, jewelry, art, antiques,
and household furnishings.
Debts: Student loans, equity loans, and credit card debts.
Tax Returns: Copies of recent tax returns for both spouses, typically for the past three
to five years.
Supporting Documents: Relevant financial documents, such as bank statements, investment statements,
property deeds, loan agreements, and any other documentation supporting
the reported financial information.
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
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
In New York divorce cases, the Net Worth Statement is a powerful financial
tool that helps ensure a fair and equitable resolution. Providing a detailed
and accurate Net Worth Statement is essential for a transparent and smooth
Seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable divorce attorney/mediator (like
me!) can significantly assist in navigating the complexities of this crucial
financial document and protecting your interests during the divorce proceedings.
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/mediator about
how to fill out your financial forms so that it will best represent the
facts in your case which can help you get the best deal!
For those of you considering divorce, I am offering a free consultation.
I will be happy to answer any and all of your questions about the dreaded
Net Worth Statement!
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, or your statement of net worth, call me today!
Call now to schedule your free consultation!
I look forward to speaking with you.
Call New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner Now to schedule your FREE consultation!
We still have a few appointments available this week!