In short, yes. In Massachusetts, General Probate Court Rule 401 requires you and your spouse fill out a financial statement. If your gross income is more than $75,000 a year, you must complete the more detailed Financial Statement Long Form. Otherwise, you can fill out and submit the short form. If you file any false financial information, you could be charged with telling a lie under oath.
Mandatory Self Disclosure Under Rule 410
Additionally, you and your spouse will be required to provide copies of all your financial records in a Massachusetts divorce proceeding. These financial records include, but aren’t limited to:
- Bank Records
- Credit Card Statements
- Loan Documents
- Mortgage Documents
- Insurance Documents
Typically, these financial disclosures are mandatory. However, in some cases such as an uncontested divorce, both parties may be able to waive financial disclosures.
What Methods Can Be Used in a Massachusetts Divorce to Obtain Financial Information?
Besides the mandatory financial statements and disclosure requirements, there are other ways to obtain and verify financial information from your spouse or applicable third parties:
- Interrogatories: You and your spouse are allowed to ask each other written questions generally drafted by your attorney in order to obtain any financial or other information that may be pertinent to your divorce.
- Deposition: You and your spouse are entitled to ask each other or a third party questions that will be answered under oath and in front of your attorneys and a stenographer regarding any specific details about finances, financial history or any other information that may be deemed pertinent to your divorce. You can also request that your spouse or third party bring documents that are relevant to the deposition.
- Subpoenas: Your attorney may use a subpoena to obtain documents from banks, employers, financial institutions, or other people or businesses that may have financial records that are relevant to your divorce.
- Appraisers: In some cases, certified appraisers are hired to put a value on any real estate, business or collectibles that either of you own.
- Private Investigators: If serious questions arise as to the truthfulness of you or your spouse, a private investigator may be hired to verify your work habits, lifestyle, and other aspects of your personal life which may impact your financial situation.
How Can I Make Sure My Spouse is Not Hiding Assets in our Massachusetts Divorce?
In order to avoid fraudulent concealment of assets by your spouse, your attorney could file a divorce complaint and have it served on your spouse.
Once the divorce complaint is filed, an automatic restraining order is issued which prevents you and your spouse from using any marital assets. This order is binding on you when you file the divorce complaint on your spouse and when the divorce complaint is served upon them.
This means that once the divorce complaint is served, your spouse is prohibited from hiding or transferring any assets except those needed for normal living expenses and to pay their attorney.
Contact an Experienced Massachusetts Divorce Attorney Today
Disclosing all of your assets during a Massachusetts divorce is mandatory, and if you leave something out, your spouse might claim that you intentionally tried to hide any asset which could cause you even further legal problems.
To start formulating your divorce strategy, it’s important that you reach out to one of the Massachusetts divorce attorneys at Koiles Pratt Family Law Group. In order to ensure your rights are being protected and your financial disclosures are complete, please contact the Massachusetts divorce attorneys at Koiles Pratt Family Law Group today at 978-744-7774.