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Why It’s Important to Have Full Financial Disclosure in a Divorce

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | Jul 14, 2015 | 0 Comments

One of the time-consuming parts of the divorce process is filling out and filing the Financial Declaration. Every party going through a divorce must file one with the Court, listing all of his or her assets and debts. It is understandable that you may not want to fill out the paperwork, or at least not fill it out completely. For instance, you may prefer to keep certain assets or debts hidden from your spouse. Though this may seem like a good idea in the short term, it will definitely hurt in the long run, because you have a legal obligation to make a full financial disclosure in a divorce. But why?

In a South Carolina divorce, you are required to disclose all of the information related to your assets and debts. This includes assets that were acquired or debts incurred during the course of your marriage, whether acquired together or separately, as well as any assets or debts that either of you brought into the marriage. The point of this disclosure is to guarantee that any settlement reached between the parties is fair and made with a full understanding of each other's financial circumstances. If you choose to cherry pick what financial details you reveal, your spouse cannot make a fully informed decision – and vice versa.

Another reason why failing to make full financial disclosure in a divorce can be such a risk is the possibility that your spouse may later find out. Were this to happen and your former spouse later uncovers your hidden information, he or she may be able to ask the court to reopen the divorce and address the discovered items. While courts rarely grant such requests, it is possible in certain situations if there has been fraudulent conduct by one party. Rather than running this serious risk, it is far better to reveal all required information from the beginning. Work with your attorney and his staff to prepare your Financial Declaration as fully and completely as possible.

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J. Benjamin Stevens

Senior Partner


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