Making The Complex
UNDERSTANDABLE

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Divorce and the financial disclosure

Is it a simple oversight, or perhaps something more devious? The paperwork suggests one thing, but something just doesn’t seem right. When it comes to divorce, determining how much one should pay in child support and alimony may require looking beyond the initial financial disclosures required by the Louisiana court.

There are specific guidelines in place that typically govern how assets are divided and how much should be paid in child support and alimony. When filing for divorce, each party generally completes a financial statement detailing assets, income and liabilities. However, there can be sources of income that are not addressed in this disclosure.

In addition to salary, employer contributions to retirement accounts, deferred income and bonuses may play an important role. The timing of the divorce can be significant. For instance, if the spouse who is required to pay child support or alimony is anticipating a large bonus at the end of the year, it may be in his or her best interest to finalize the divorce prior to this payout. Likewise, for the spouse on the receiving end, he or she may decide that it is advantageous to wait on filing.

While tax returns generally give a clear financial picture, if one’s lifestyle and tax return do not appear to be compatible, it may be worth taking a closer look. Are there income streams that have not been reported? Experienced legal counsel can assist the Louisiana resident in sorting through financial documents to determine if they give a true financial picture and then deciding when is the appropriate time to file for divorce.

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