An important part of divorce is dividing up marital property, financial accounts, and debts. In order to properly divide the finances, both spouses need to have a full and accurate understanding of the current financial situation of the marriage. New Jersey has taken some of the difficulty out of this process through the mandatory financial disclosure rules. These rules require both spouses to exchange certain documents and information regarding their financial situation within 45 days after the divorce complaint is served.
Specifically, each spouse must provide the following:
- Federal and State income tax returns for the last three years;
- Bank account statements for the last three years;
- Retirement account statements for the last three years;
- Investment account statements for the last three years;
- Four most recent pay stubs;
- Documentation of current health insurance;
- Copies of any loan application made in the last three years;
- Copies of any financial statement prepared in the last three years; and
- An updated financial statement.
Once a spouse has provided the mandatory financial disclosures, they are allowed to make follow-up discovery requests through Requests for Documents, Requests for Interrogatories, and Depositions.
It is important to note that the financial statement is one of the most important documents in any divorce. Make sure that you speak with an attorney before completing and exchanging your initial financial statement since this initial statement can have an enormous effect on the rest of the case.