Most married couples share their finances fairly equally. Joint accounts will be used for most of the monthly expenses and even though people still hold their own personal accounts, most of the money and assets will be shared by both people. This makes life easier when you are married, but it also makes things much harder if you end up getting a divorce.
When you get a divorce, you need to declare your financial assets so your solicitors can then negotiate a fair settlement. But a lot of people are unsure how far this declaration should extend and what is and is not covered by it. If you are going through a divorce and you have questions about your financial declaration, read on to find out everything you need to know.
How Do Financial Disclosures Work?
You don’t necessarily have to disclose your finances if you don’t want to. If you think that you know exactly what assets you both have and you don’t see any issues, you might decide to negotiate without a financial disclosure. However, if either party applies to the courts regarding financial matters in the divorce, you will both be required to fill out a Form E divorce paper, which outlines all of your assets and finances. Doing this voluntarily can protect you against problems in the future too, so you should consider disclosing your finances either way. Once you have filled out the forms, you can then negotiate how the finances will be split up.
What Do You Have To Disclose?
On your Form E, you need to include all assets, not just the cash that you have in the bank. So, you need to list any money you have in bank accounts, whether they are joint or personal ones. If you have any investments, you need to list the value of those as well. A business that you own, even if your spouse had no part in building or running it, should be listed too. Any pensions and insurance policies need to be outlined too.
In some cases, you will need to provide evidence of your financial position. Gather wage slips and bank statements, as well as any documents relating to pension funds and insurance policies. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be to negotiate later on.
What Happens If You Lie?
People sometimes lie when disclosing their assets because they want to hide money so their spouse can’t get hold of it in the divorce. But if you do this, it can lead to a lot of problems. If somebody suspects that their spouse is not being truthful, they can ask your solicitor to provide more information. If that still doesn’t satisfy them, they can apply to the court and you may be forced to provide more evidence. This will only lead to bitterness and resentment, and the whole divorce process will be dragged out for a lot longer. In some cases, your spouse may refuse to proceed until you declare everything. It’s much easier for everybody if you are just honest about your finances.
Your solicitor will advise you on these matters, but it’s a good idea to start gathering the relevant information on your finances right away.