Guide: Financial Declaration

What is a financial declaration?

Utah law requires that the parties in a family law case submit a financial declaration to each other, which is basically a statement under oath regarding their monthly income and expenses and their assets and debts. Your financial declaration is one of the most important documents in your case because the court will use it to make decisions regarding child support, alimony, and the division of assets and debts. It is also very important to make a complete and accurate disclosure because the court may sanction you for failing to disclose income, assets, and debts, including awarding non-disclosed assets to the other party.

Documents Needed to Complete Your Financial Declaration

Before you begin filling out your declaration, please gather the following documents. You must provide these documents to our office so we can attach them to your financial declaration. If you do not have one of the documents listed and it is not readily obtainable from your accountant or your employer’s human resources department, please let us know.

These documents are necessary:

  • Your complete federal and state income tax returns for the past two years. This includes business tax returns if you own a business. If you haven’t filed your taxes for a particular year yet, please provide you W2(s) or 1099 form(s) for that year.
  • A current pay stub showing your year-to-date income (if employed).
  • Statements for the past 3 months for all your financial accounts, including checking, savings, retirement, money market funds, certificates of deposit, brokerage, and investment accounts, regardless of whether the account has been closed.

We need these documents too, if you have them readily available:

  • All loan applications and financial statements prepared or used by you within the past 12 months, such as profit and loss statements (if available).
  • Any recent appraisals, tax valuation and/or refinance documents relating to real estate you own or other major assets (if available).
  • Life insurance policies.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Court requires that you “white out” or “black out” the following information from all of the documents listed above before we send them to our office:

  • Social Security numbers
  • Names and birthdays of children
  • Bank account numbers, except the last 4 digits
  • Bank account routing numbers

Now that you have gathered and prepared the documents necessary to complete your financial declaration, you can begin filling out the form.

Income Calculation (Paragraphs 3-6 of Financial Declaration)

When stating your gross monthly income, you must be as accurate as possible and provide a full accounting of the income you earn during an average month from all sources.

If your sole source of income is your employment, we recommend using your most recent tax return and/or the W-2 you received from your employer and dividing the gross monthly income listed in those documents by 12.

If your income has increased since last year due to a pay raise or because you are working more hours, then we recommend using your recent pay stubs to calculate your gross monthly income. Divide the year-to-date gross income listed on your paystub by the number of months between the beginning of the year and the period end date on the paystub to obtain an accurate gross monthly income. Do not round the number of months up or down, as this will provide an inaccurate monthly income. Instead, if for example the period end date is 10 weeks from the beginning of the year, then divide the year-to-date gross income by 2.5 months.

Next, calculate your monthly tax deductions. You can use your tax return or paycheck stubs to determine the federal income, state income, Social Security and Medicare taxes you pay during an average month. If you’re self-employed, your accountant can help you determine the tax deductions to list in this section. Make sure you use the same system in calculating taxes that you used to calculate your gross monthly income.

Monthly Expenses (Paragraph 7 of Financial Declaration)

Take your time when listing your average monthly expenses. Resist the urge to rush through this section or to be conservative. Important matters such as alimony are partly determined based on these expenses.

In the “Current Amount” column of the monthly expenses table, list the monthly expenses that you currently have, regardless of whether you are able to pay them. If either party is requesting alimony, then list the parties’ average monthly expenses during the marriage in the “Marital Expenses” column. The expenses listed in these two columns may be different because the parties may have separated and moved into different residences with different expenses and other expenses previously incurred have been curtailed since divorce proceedings began.

To determine your average monthly expenses, look at what you have been spending overall during the last year on each particular expense and divide that amount by 12. Some monthly expenses are fixed and easy to calculate. You may pay $2,075.00 each month for your mortgage, $445.00 toward your automobile loan, $35.67 for your internet access . . . . you get the idea. Other monthly expenses fluctuate month-to-month and are harder to calculate. Examples of these expenses are food, gasoline, clothing, electricity, gas, and water, sewer, garbage, etc. We recommend marking these amounts with an asterisk (*), and then, in at the bottom of Section 7, briefly explain the basis of your estimation. Look over your monthly expenses after you have listed them. Are they accurate? Have you left out any necessary expenses?

Business Interests (Paragraph 8 of Financial Declaration)

For most people, this section is not applicable. The instructions provided on the attached financial declaration form are fairly self-explanatory. If you have questions about this section, please call our office at (801) 999-0104 to speak with your attorney.

Financial Assets (Paragraph 9 of Financial Declaration)

This section asks you to provide a full accounting of your financial assets, such as cash, checking, savings, money market, brokerage, investment, and retirement accounts, including IRA and 401(k) accounts, bonds, annuities, and certificates of deposit, accounts receivable, and other debts owed to you. In some cases, you may need to separate your accounts, such as when you have a savings account with one account number, and a checking account with another. If you need additional space to list financial assets, please let us know. Make sure to include all your financial assets in your declaration.

Real Property (Paragraph 10 of Financial Declaration)

When you list the “current value” of your real property, you should have some basis for the value stated. We highly recommend having a professional real estate appraiser appraise any real property subject to division in your case. An appraisal can usually be scheduled within 30 days and costs approximately $500.00. Please contact our office if you would like a referral to an appraiser. Please also call your mortgage company (if applicable) and obtain a statement verifying the amount owed on your real property. It should look something like: “$176,928 as of 10/4/13”. We will need to disclose this information to the other party, regardless of whether the property is subject to division in your case.

Personal Property (Paragraph 11 of Financial Declaration)

List your “personal property” that has substantial value, e.g. vehicles, major electronics, firearms, furniture, tools and equipment, antiques, and valuable artwork. For vehicles, the Kelly Blue Book can provide a reliable estimate. Visit to determine the value of the vehicle. When you list the “amount owed” for your vehicle, make sure you include the date. For example, it should look something like “$3,335 as of 10/4/13.”

Debts (Paragraph 12 of Financial Declaration)

Provide information about every debt you have, including the creditor, the purpose of the debt, the names on the debt, the amount owed, and the minimum monthly payment.

Deadline to Complete Your Financial Declaration

Please complete your financial declaration and attach the required supporting documentation as soon as possible. Please be aware that there is a deadline to submit this declaration to the other party. Each party must submit their declaration within 14 days of an answer being filed in the case.

If you need help completing your financial declaration, please feel free to call our office at (801) 999-0104