A financial affidavit is a legal document detailing the signer’s financial circumstances. It is most commonly used during divorce proceedings to help the court calculate spousal or child support.
The sworn statement outlines details about your income, assets, debts, expenses, and other financial obligations and must be signed before a notary public and notarized.
Consequences of Not Having a Financial Affidavit
Whenever a financial affidavit is requested, you should remember that the court needs this information to make a just and equitable decision. Without an affidavit, you risk opening yourself up to several issues:
- It becomes challenging to accurately assess a person’s income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.
- It leads to questioning your transparency and willingness to provide accurate financial information.
- The division of assets becomes unfair.
- There can be delays or complications in legal proceedings.
What to Include
As a preliminary matter, a financial affidavit includes personal information like name, address, phone number, social security number, and date of birth. Additionally, because the purpose is to provide the court with a picture of your fiscal situation, you can expect the form to sometimes ask about who else lives in the household and who you are financially responsible for (such as a spouse).
A financial affidavit also incorporates the following elements:
- Affiant: The person making the affidavit.
- Employer: The name and address of the person or company employing the affiant.
- Sources of income: All sources of income of the affiant, including rental, investment, self-employment, unemployment, or disability income.
- Salary deductions: The monthly deductions from the affiant’s salary, including federal income tax, social security, state income tax, medicare, health insurance, and more.
- Monthly expenses: The household expenses and liabilities for the affiant, specifically mortgage payments, utilities, gas, automobile insurance, property taxes, rent, and more.
The information required varies slightly based on the reason and the jurisdiction.
When Is a Financial Affidavit Needed?
Divorce and family law matters: It allows you to negotiate with your spouse or give the court a clear picture of your financial circumstances to decide on appropriate property division, alimony, and child support. Even in child support cases where the parents were never married, courts rely on a financial affidavit to allocate each party’s financial responsibility to support a child.
Child support modification: It proves a substantial change in the financial circumstances of one party. So, it influences the decision regarding child support modification.
Legal separation: It provides the court with a snapshot of your current financial situation, which assists in assessing each spouse’s financial standing and obligations.
Pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements: It ensures that both parties clearly understand each other’s financial situation before making decisions about the division of assets or spousal support in the event of divorce.
Bankruptcy: Financial affidavits may also be used in bankruptcy court. As with family law matters, courts review your assets and debts, income, and expenses to determine the appropriate way to resolve a bankruptcy matter.
Legal aid: A financial affidavit may be required if you apply for the services of a public defender or legal aid. The United States Constitution guarantees legal representation in criminal cases, even if you can’t afford an attorney. In this situation, you may be asked to provide financial information to determine whether you qualify for an attorney paid for by the state or county where the alleged crime occurred.
How to Write
Follow the steps below to learn how to fill out a financial affidavit.
Step 1 – Fill out Affiant Information
The affiant is the person writing the affidavit. Include your contact information, such as your full name, date of birth, address, and social security number.
Step 2 – Add Income Information
If you are currently employed, provide details of your occupation:
- Whether it’s full-time or part-time.
- Title of occupation.
- Where you are employed.
- Address of your employer.
- Your pay rate and frequency.
Then, detail any gross income you receive. This is income from any source before any taxes or deductions are removed. Include any income outside of your current employment. Other sources of income include child support, alimony, social security, unemployment, rental income, etc.
Step 3 – Fill in Your Deductions
Your deductions are what’s taken from your gross income every month. These can include:
- Federal & state income tax
- Social security
- Health insurance
- Union dues
- Mandatory retirement contributions
- Child support
- Life insurance premiums (to secure child support)
- Alimony/spousal support
State the amount in the affidavit if you have any of these as deductions in your monthly income. Once you have done this, note down your net income, which is the total income after all deductions have been taken.
Step 4 – Note Down Your Expenses and Assets
Examples of monthly expenses include:
- Household expenses: Rent or mortgage, real estate taxes, property or renter’s insurance, homeowner’s or condo dues, utilities, groceries.
- Transportation expenses: Car payment, gas, car insurance, maintenance and repairs, public transit, parking.
- Personal expenses: Insurance premiums, uninsured medical expenses, clothing, childcare expenses.
- Loans and other debts: Student loan, car loan, credit card.
Once you have added all your expenses, note the total in the affidavit. Assets are anything you own with a monetary value that can be converted to cash (real estate, cars, stocks, businesses, bank accounts, etc.). You should list them similarly to your expenses and include their total cash value.
Hourly rate of pay;
|Other sources of revenue||Government assistance, such as food stamps;
Collections such as coin collections, stamp collections, or baseball cards;
Vacation time shares;
Other items of value.
|Liabilities or debts||Loans;
Lines of credit;
Personal loans owed to family or friends;
Credit card debt;
Tax debts; and
|Expenses||Court ordered child support;
Court ordered alimony;
Bills associated with running a household.
While the table above distinguishes between income and assets, not knowing whether something is an asset or payment is not as important as reporting the income or asset. If you are unsure if something is a debt, expense, or income instead of an asset, list it somewhere. The court can figure it out.
Financial Affidavit Sample
Download our free financial affidavit form below in PDF or Word format.