For Protective Parents. Your source for news and information on the broken Family Court System in Connecticut. I am NOT an attorney. This blog does not constitute legal advice. Blog spirit: In the words of Emiliano Zapata,"I would rather die standing than live on my knees!"
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The Judicial Branch has created two new financial affidavits - JD-FM-6 SHORT and JD-FM-6 LONG, based on the recommendations of the Family Commission. The work involved the combined efforts of many individuals over an extended period of time and everyone’s efforts are greatly appreciated.
The reasons for creating the new forms include:
a more user-friendly format for the parties, the attorneys, the Judges, and the Family Support Magistrates;
a more accurate and comprehensive listing of finances; and
an increased accountability of the filer.
The threshold criteria for using one version rather than the other pertains to the party’s annual gross income and total net assets being above or below $75,000. The Office of the Chief Court Administrator has approved these new forms in accordance with Practice Book Sections 25-30 and 25a-15, and they are to be used effective January 1, 2014.
When completed online, these forms are fillable. Also, very soon, the forms will be available with additional electronic functionality that permits the expansion or reduction in the size of certain selected fields of the forms. Hard copies of both new forms will be available at the Judicial District Clerks Offices and the Court Service Centers.
Item #3 of the automatic orders requires that within thirty days of the return date each of the parties in a divorce fill out a financial affidavit which lists income, expenses, assets and liabilities.
You and your spouse are well advised to actually follow through on this requirement because it provides both of you with a good clear snapshot of where you stand financially at that particular point in the divorce.
Many of the divorces in Connecticut take at least a year to litigate and during the course of the final negotiations before dissolution both parties usually provide another updated financial affidavit.
In my divorce where there were some depositions involved, my ex produced another updated financial affidavit for each deposition, so in the end I had several copies each of which helped me track what was going on.
If there are any significant changes in the numbers from the first affidavit that is submitted and later affidavits, your lawyer or if you are self represented, you, can point them out to the judge or ask for an accounting.
The financial affidavit is signed by the client and the attorney under oath, so if you lie, you are supposed to be in a lot of trouble. In reality, it is generally well known that people lie in the financial affidavits all the time. However, if you are caught in a lie and the opposing side is particularly eloquent and/or has a good lawyer, you are TOAST and you will be sued for fraud.
As the Court stated in a decisive case about fraud Billington vs. Billington (1991) "the principle of full and frank disclosure...is essential to our strong policy that the private settlement of the financial affairs of estranged marital partners is a goal that courts should support rather than undermine...That goal requires, in turn, that reasonable settlements have been knowingly agreed upon." No settlement can be "knowingly agreed" upon if one or both of the parties lies.