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The Importance of Accurate Financial Statements

The Massachusetts Domestic Relations Rules requires that a current Financial Statement must be filed whenever the financial condition of a party is relevant or is an issue to be considered by the Court, which as you might imagine covers the overwhelming majority of cases, including divorce, separation, child custody, parenting plans, child support, alimony, and contempt. This document includes detailed information about a wide range of financial issues, including income, expenses, assets, and debts. 

Your financial statement is an affidavit, which should highlight why it's so important that they be filled out properly. Because they are signed under oath, your signature verifies that you are swearing that the information provided is true to the best of your knowledge.

So what if you make a simple mistake, such as listing a wrong amount, forgetting to include a bank account, etc.? These types of mistakes can and do occur from time to time. If the mistake was unintentional, you should immediately alert the Court and the opposing party to your mistake and immediately file an updated, corrected financial statement.

On the other hand, intentional errors or omissions can carry the potential for serious punishment if you are found out. Remember, you signed the document under oath that the information was accurate to the best of your knowledge. A blatant lie can be deemed perjury, which is a serious crime and can lead to correspondingly serious punishment.

There are two important lessons that you should take away from this discussion. First, it is extremely important that you make sure that all of the information included on your financial statement is accurate. 

Finally, it is equally important that you verify that all of the information included on the opposing party's financial statement is accurate. Your attorney should discuss with you the importance of independently verifying the other party's financial information in certain cases and the steps that can be taken to do so.

Contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either by telephone 978-844-4095 or email should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce to schedule a free one hour no obligation consultation.

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Law Offices of Renee Lazar
4308 Thompson Farm
Bedford, MA 01730
Phone: 978-844-4095
Fax: 781-687-5807
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