Clients and Financial Declarations

The financial declaration is the most important document in any family court case with financial issues. My most difficult task is convincing my clients of the urgency for a complete, thorough, and accurate financial declaration. While a good financial declaration may not win a case, a bad financial declaration can lose it. If the opposing party exposes my client’s mistake or misrepresentation in court, the trial judge will most probably disbelieve my client’s testimony. The risk does not stop with the present case. Many cases return to court later for modification or enforcement of court orders. Old and erroneous financial declarations from earlier cases are bombs waiting to explode. The same clients who are reluctant to provide the information for their current financial declaration frequently insist on reviewing the opposing party’s financial declaration with a team of forensic accountants to confirm the daily cost of school lunches. If clients would only cooperate regarding their financial declarations and let the lawyer handle the opposing party’s financial declaration, it would be a near perfect world. This is not a reflection; it is a dream.