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By Anthony C. Adamopoulos


In my many years of helping people through divorce, a re-occurring client activity always results in additional costs.

What is that activity? The client’s choice to not follow Divorce Court instructions on how to complete the court’s Financial Statement.

In all divorce cases, the most important document for the reviewing judge is the Probate and Family Court Financial Statement.

In an “uncontested” divorce, the judge reads the Financial Statement to help them decide whether to approve the parties’ Separation Agreement.  It is not uncommon for a judge to refuse to approve an uncontested divorce case because Financial Statements did not conform to court instructions.

In contested cases, the Financial Statement helps the judge determine many issues, for example, the standard of living of a party, the needs of a party, and the honesty of a party.

Because a judge often asks parties questions about parts of their own Financial Statements, many divorce attorneys and divorce mediators have clients prepare their own Statements. Then, the clients can more easily answer the judge and, if necessary, defend what they themselves have put in their own Statement.

Click here for a site that will start you off and then get you to the Divorce Court site:

How To Prepare Your Financial Statement – Easily Put

Here is a list of the most ignored instructions that always result in extra cost:

Fill in your name and address;

Answer every question;

If an answer to a question is 0 or none, enter 0;

All income and expenses are to be reported in weekly amounts with monthly figures being divided by 4.3;

List all assets and present value.


Why does failure to follow the instructions result in extra cost?

Because the divorce court wants its instructions followed, your attorney will have to point out what needs to be changed to comply with  court instructions.

Your attorney or mediator will often use your Financial Statement to assist in preparing your Separation Agreement. The failure to properly complete the Financial Statement will result in delay and increased cost while the necessary information is got. Every time your attorney or mediator cannot find necessary information in your draft financial statement; every time you have to be told that an answer does not comply to the court rules; every time your attorney changes an error to a correction, it all results in more costs.

The take away:

The court’s instructions are few and clear. Take the time to follow them and you will save time and cost.


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