What Finances Must Be Disclosed in a Divorce?

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Often, one spouse pays the bills and does the bookkeeping for the family. While this can be practical, it can leave the other spouse with little knowledge of the family’s financial situation. For this reason, a spouse might fear that the other spouse will conceal money or other financial assets in preparation for a divorce contest or settlement.

In recent news, the former chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade was charged with concealing millions of dollars from his wife during their divorce proceedings by transferring money into offshore bank accounts before and during the divorce. Such actions are illegal.

New Jersey requires that each spouse comply with mandatory financial disclosure rules within 45 days after filing a divorce complaint. This rule is helpful in all divorce situations, but especially in marriages where one spouse handled all the bookkeeping and the other has little idea of the full financial picture of the family assets. The New Jersey financial disclosure rule requires that each spouse submit the following documentation:

  • Federal and state income tax returns for the past three years
  • Bank, retirement and investment account statements for the past three years
  • Copies of loan applications within the past three years
  • Four recent pay stubs
  • Documentation of health insurance
  • Copies of any financial statements prepared in the past three years as well as a current financial statement

Following the mandatory financial disclosures, other evidentiary requests may be made by the parties for clarification or inquiry into the documentation or other related matters.