Financial Disclosure During Divorce


Financial disclosure during separation and divorce can be overwhelming and tense. It’s a time consuming and detail-oriented task that is not always accurate or transparent. The parties going through a divorce are already struggling with the stress of closing out a big chapter of their life, while at the same time looking forward to the next chapter. In many cases, children are also a big part of the process and should come first. It’s generally an environment where trust is lacking, and many actions and statements are taken out of context and poor intentions are assumed.

Disclosure Legal Requirement

It’s against this backdrop you have legal requirements to disclose your financial resources amongst other things. Exactly what and when you have to disclose varies by state, so check with an attorney, but you will eventually have to put a complete listing of assets and liabilities together. Do you need to include 500,000 airline miles? What about family photos? Or small business documentation? Or reward points on a company credit card. Probably, but your attorney will walk you through this. However, it is pretty clear this goes beyond just bank accounts and investments.

The Financial Disclosure Challenge

The challenge is that we do so much online today, we can’t possibly recall everything we have to include in our list of assets. Most people can only recall about 30% of the things they log into online and many accounts no longer have any real paper trail. How are you going to get this done quickly and accurately? The cost of the list you disclose being inaccurate, and filing a false disclosure, can be high. Let me explain, disclosures are generally a form of sworn affidavit, which means by signing it, you are swearing it is accurate (i.e. nothing is omitted). In the case of hiding information or accidental omission, you could be held in contempt of court, fined or jailed. The court can also choose to punish you financially in splitting the assets. Even if it is an accidental omission, the responsible party will likely have to pay the other party’s attorney fees. Of course, the other cost is a further degradation of any remaining trust with the other party. A little trust can make a divorce a lot easier, and in the end, less costly.  

*Again, check with your attorney to understand how this process works in your state.

The Disclosure Solution

Aspen Digital Life provides a technology to quickly discover and recover the things you log into online. Our software provides a categorized report to allow you to quickly go through your online accounts with your attorney to ensure you disclose what you need to do. We provide a giant head start in getting the right information together for a required disclosure. We may not find it all, but we will get most of it and get it in 15 minutes or less. Work with your attorney to give us a try.

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