One of this year’s changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is the requirement that all parties to a divorce submit standardized, statewide financial affidavits. These forms help the court to assess a couple’s expenses, debts, income, and assets, which is vital in determining how child support and spousal maintenance should be allocated. Financial affidavits must be submitted with a variety of supporting documents and a failure to accurately report income or assets could lead to serious fines or sanctions, so if you are considering a divorce, it is important to retain the services of an experienced divorce attorney who can help ensure that all your court documents are completed and submitted on time.
Aside from documenting all sources of income, the parties must also account for their expenses, including any:
- Household costs;
- Medical expenses;
- Transportation costs;
- Education fees; and
- Childcare expenses.
In addition to calculating monthly income and expenses, the parties must record information about any debts, including the creditors’ names as well as the nature of the debt. Finally, the parties must include a list of all assets, including:
- Cash and cash equivalents;
- Investment accounts and securities;
- Real estate;
- Motor vehicles;
- Business interests;
- Life insurance policies;
- Retirement benefits;
- Income tax refunds;
- Valuable collectibles; and
- Any transfer or sale of property or assets within the last two years.
Once all of this information has been provided, each party must sign the form in front of a court clerk, notary public, or lawyer before sending a copy to the other party. Each party should also complete and file a proof of delivery form with the circuit clerk.
All financial affidavits must be accompanied by supporting financial documents, which can include:
- Income tax returns;
- Pay stubs or other proof of income; and
- Bank statements.
If one party believes that there is a disparity in the financial records, he or she can file a motion with the court. The judge then has the option of holding a hearing to determine whether there is a disparity, and if so, why it exists. If the court finds that one party intentionally or recklessly filed an inaccurate or misleading affidavit, it can impose serious penalties, including costs, attorney’s fees, and a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction. These restraining orders can enjoin a party from transferring, encumbering, concealing, or disposing of property. The only exceptions are for the necessities of life or spending that is in the usual course of business. However, the party will still be required to notify the moving party of any extraordinary expenditures.
Restraining orders imposed by the court can also enjoin a party from:
- Removing a child from the court’s jurisdiction; or
- Interfering with the other party’s personal liberty.
Finally, courts also have the option of ordering the purchase or sale of assets or requiring that a party borrow funds in appropriate circumstances.
Contact an Experienced Palatine Divorce Attorney Today
If you are contemplating a divorce and you live in the Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Inverness, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg or Barrington areas please contact the Law Offices of Jenet G. Pequeno, LLC by calling (847) 616-0980 or by completing one of our standard contact forms and a member of our dedicated legal team will help you schedule a consultation.