By Hope Tuber
The Domestic Relations Law (DRL) requires compulsory disclosure by both parties of their respective financial states in all matrimonial actions and proceedings in which support, or equitable distribution of marital assets is an issue. This is normally done through a Net Worth Statement. Net worth means the amount of total assets including income that exceed total liabilities, including fixed financial obligations. Your Net Worth Statement must include all income and assets of any kind, wherever they may be located, as well as any assets transferred out of your name within the preceding three years or the length of the marriage, whichever is shorter. Transfer of money for the routine maintenance of your daily life is not necessarily included.
Your Net Worth Statement includes the disclosure of the details of the general family data, that will include monthly expenses, gross income, all assets (joint and separate), all liabilities (joint and separate) and assets transferred during the preceding three years. In addition to this data, the Statement of Net Worth should include a copy of your most current paystub and the party’s most recently filed state and federal income tax returns. These documents are required to check on the accuracy of the representations in the Net Worth Statement.A party in a matrimonial action must provide a sworn Statement of Net Worth within 20 days after the receipt of a notice in writing demanding such a statement. Normally, your attorney will make such a demand within days of being retained. If you are the non monied spouse and are in need of pendente lite (relief prior to the entry of the Judgment of Divorce) you will need your spouse’s last tax return and pay stub to adequately craft your motion. You will also need the Statement of Net Worth to demonstrate to the court your need for monetary relief.