If you are currently in the midst of a divorce, there are probably many things you are trying to organize (or find!). With so many things on your mind, the last thing you will want to do is compile vast amounts of financial paperwork. However, it is imperative that you, as a client, understand that such is crucial for the efficient finalization of your case.
When your lawyer says, “okay, but get me proof,” there is a reason. Your lawyer cannot make baseless claims on your behalf. Rather, it is imperative that you provide the necessary backup paperwork so that your lawyer can review such and be able to make strong arguments that are based on actual numbers (or facts, as the case may be).
Divorces usually have two main categories of issues to be addressed – custody, if there are children, and financial matters. The finances are then broken down into two additional categories (assets and liabilities) and then income is (often) looked at separately. Income largely plays a role in matters such as child support and alimony, and, in general, the assets and liabilities go more toward the equalization/delegation of assets. Of course, there is some cross-over and it is also important to consider liquid assets versus non-liquid assets (often retirement assets).
When you review your finances with your attorney, you will need to provide various documentation. The Connecticut Practice Book sets forth the specific requirements, but essentially, every divorcing party in Connecticut is required to provide various financial documentation for the last few years. This includes, but may not be limited to, bank statements, credit card statements, tax documentation, pay stubs, retirement plan statements, etc. By providing these documents, your attorney will be basing her arguments, and negotiations, on actual facts, rather than simply guesstimating numbers. Both parties in the divorce will need to provide financial proof.
If you choose to waive financial production, it is important to keep in mind that without a deep understanding of the full financial picture, your attorney is only estimating and basing arguments on what you have advised them. This may not be beneficial in your situation and you should strongly consider your options before choosing to waive financial production.
It is also important to remember that if you have a post-judgment issue arise after your divorce, wherein you need to modify financial orders, such modification will be based upon the prior financial information used in your divorce, as compared to the new financial information (for example, if you want to modify because you believe your ex-spouse is now making more money, but you did not exchange the appropriate information during the divorce, it may be harder to prove a substantial change in circumstances for the subsequent modification.
However, if your lawyer has the full financial picture during the dissolution process, it will help ensure that you have the most accurate and equitable agreement possible. It may seem overwhelming to achieve this on your own, but you don’t have to! Wolf & Shore is here to help you through this often-frustrating part of divorce.
Attorneys Kristen Wolf and Shari Shore have over 22 years of combined experience. They are both tenacious enough to protect your best interest and compassionate enough to help get you through a difficult situation, while ensuring that all financial documentation has been received & reviewed. Let our office make your dissolution easier, not harder.
Ever argue with a woman? Let Wolf & Shore Law Group go to work for you. Click here, call us at 203.745.315, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.