NY Attorneys: Understanding the Statement of Net Worth

By Michael DiFalco
Partner

In any New York divorce, the court must make numerous decisions that can impact the finances of both parties. To make fair decisions in these matters, the court needs an accurate picture of your finances and those of your spouse. 

The court obtains this picture through your Statement of Net Worth. Accurately completing this statement is crucial in a New York divorce, especially in high-net-worth divorces. Here is everything you need to know about this statement and how it affects divorce settlements in the state and offers clarity for both attorneys and clients.

The Impact of the Statement of Net Worth on Your Divorce

The first feature of a Statement of Net Worth to note is that it is a sworn statement. By completing and signing your Statement of Net Worth in front of a notary, you are declaring under oath that the information you disclose is true and accurate. You cannot lie directly or by omission in completing this form.

Exaggerating or falsifying information on your Statement of Net Worth or leaving out information can subject you to both civil and criminal penalties and can lead to serious consequences when the Court makes its determination. For this reason, having an experienced New York divorce attorney help you complete this form is advisable.

Your divorce process will involve orders dividing the marital property that you and your spouse accumulated during your marriage, along with setting alimony and a child support obligation, if you have children in common. 

The outcomes of these financial matters are greatly influenced by the contents of your Statement of Net Worth, as the court uses this statement to make these key decisions.

Information Covered in Your Statement of Net Worth

Your Statement of Net Worth is meant to serve as a comprehensive accounting of what you own and what you owe. As a result, you can expect to disclose:

  • Typical monthly bills and expenses for the marital household
  • Debts and loans in your name
  • Homes and other properties
  • Bank accounts, investment accounts, and retirement accounts

Providing complete and truthful information to every question is critical not for you, but for your former spouse as well. In some high-net-worth divorce cases, one spouse may try to gain an advantage over another by not disclosing certain assets or falsifying the amounts owed. 

Your attorney can help ensure correct information is being provided by all parties.

Completing Your Statement of Net Worth

A statement of net worth may not be required in your case if you and your spouse are not contesting any issues. Even in an amicable divorce, most people provide a statement of net worth as the gold standard for basic financial disclosure. If one is required in your divorce case, make sure the information you provide is current as of the date you are completing the statement. 

You’ll also want to make sure not to leave any questions or spaces blank. Simply note that a question is not applicable to you if it does not apply to your situation. 

Also, when listing debts and liabilities, you’ll want to consult your bank statement so as not to miss any recurring or regular expenses. Even loans to or from family members should be listed if repayment is expected.

If you do not have the information you need to answer certain questions when you complete your statement, notate your statement accordingly and update the form as soon as you can. If you make a mistake or need to amend an answer you previously gave, you can do so by filing an updated Statement of Net Worth.

Get Answers From a Seasoned New York Divorce Attorney

Regardless of whether you are facing a high-net-worth divorce or any other type of divorce, a Garden City family law attorney from Aiello & DiFalco can provide you with invaluable guidance and advocacy at all stages of your divorce. 

Whether you require help completing your Statement of Net Worth or need representation in fighting for alimony or child custody, our firm has the skills and experience necessary to protect your best interests. Contact Aiello & DiFalco today for a consultation to learn more about what we can do for you.

About the Author
I am a partner at Aiello & DiFalco LLP, and my priority for my clients is to guide them through an arduous court case to provide them with the opportunity to write the next chapter in their life. I tailor my approach to each client’s priorities and positions, and to the extent that matters can be predicted, I will always provide a realistic perspective of how the law could be applied to the particular facts and circumstances of a case. Since I thrive on helping people and solving problems, I bring an optimistic and positive approach to practicing in a very difficult area of law. With more than a decade of experience handling hundreds of cases, I have the ability to get results on the issues my clients view as priorities. When cases or certain issues cannot be settled, I have a solid record of success at trials, hearings, and on appeals. Feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation, I am always available to help.