You can’t get through a divorce until you and your spouse fully consider asset distribution. In the state of New York, this means using equitable distribution to divvy out fair shares, not equal shares, of property, finances, savings, and so on. With this in mind, one of the first things you should do is get a copy of your statement of net worth and give it to the presiding judge.
What is a Statement of Net Worth?
It is pretty much impossible to fairly portion out anything if you don’t know how much of it there is. A statement of net worth is the complete summation of your financial records, history, income, real property value, etc. that all amasses to how much you own. When considering your divorce, this also shows how much you stand to keep, or to lose.
Why Should You Share It?
You might understandably be thinking, “If I reveal my full finances just to have them taken away, why would I do that in the first place?” Part of the divorce process is discovery. During discovery, each spouse and their attorney has the chance to request all sorts of information from the other, including full financial records. Attempting to hide a source of income or a vacation home is never a good idea because discovery never misses a thing. Eventually, everything will come to light so you might as well share it early.
A few benefits of sharing your statement of net worth early are:
- You avoid the headaches of having to dig through your records later on.
- Removes unnecessary delays in the divorce process.
- Shows your honesty, goodwill, and intent to cooperate.
Since a divorce judge can see numerous cases in one day, getting on their good side by cooperating is probably more beneficial than you might first think. When it comes time to assign property to the spouse that “deserves it” more than the other, a judge can see your willingness to share your total net worth as reason to reward you, should there be a marital item that could go either way. Oppositely, if you try to hide your finances and they are discovered, like they will be sooner or later, the judge might decide to reduce your portion of the equitably distributed property.
If you need help understanding your rights during a divorce, or if you aren’t sure how to gather your complete net worth statement, you can turn to Peter L. Cedeño & Associates, P.C. for help. Our New York divorce attorneys have been helping clients in situations like yours for a combined 20+ years. Contact us online, tell us about your situation, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.