What Does Affidavit Mean?
The financial affidavit is one of the main, and most important, documents in a Connecticut divorce. We use them in every type of divorce: litigated, collaborative, and mediated. But what does “affidavit” mean? Why is a financial affidavit so important?
Definition of Affidavit
According to Merriam Webster, an affidavit is “a sworn statement in writing made especially under oath or on affirmation before an authorized magistrate or officer.”
When you sign a financial affidavit you certify under the penalties of perjury that its contents are complete, true, and accurate.
It makes sense that you sign your financial affidavit in your divorce under oath. The officer that takes the oath is likely either your divorce attorney, who is an officer of the court, or a notary public (who may also be, for example, your lawyer’s paralegal).
Background on Financial Affidavits
Financial affidavits are designed to give a clear, comprehensive, and accurate picture of the finances of the marriage, which sets the stage for negotiations and discussions about property division, alimony, and child support. It may lead to an additional exchange of documents or discovery.
Why Is It Important Spouses Swear to Their Financial Affidavits Under Oath?
First, it’s important financial affidavits are accurate so you (and the court) can make good, accurate decisions in your divorce. That’s why the court requires you both to file a financial affidavit signed under oath.
In addition, once you file the signed and sworn document in court, the court may consider it “fraudulent concealment” if a spouse fails to include or misrepresents assets on the financial affidavit.
In other words, concealing information about assets and debts in a divorce is against the law. When spouses sign financial affidavits, they swear that the information in the document is accurate. There are serious legal consequences for concealing information, including if it’s discovered post-judgment.
To start making a plan for your divorce, reach out. Our first step at Freed Marcroft, the Goals & Planning Conference, is designed to get to the heart of your problem and unveil your true goals. We analyze those goals, plus the facts of your case, and present you with recommendations and options to move forward.