What is a Statement of Net Worth?
A Statement of Net Worth is a form required by the court where you list all of your financial information in detail — income, expenses, assets, property, and debts. It is a sworn statement that must be signed in front of a notary public before it is submitted.
Divorces in New York State are governed by the principal of equitable distribution of assets to each person involved in a divorce proceeding. Accurately completing the Statement of Net Worth is essential for the court to determine equitable distribution of assets to both plaintiff and defendant. Spousal maintenance, child support, distribution of property, and distribution of other marital assets are determined by the court based upon the statements of net worth required of both plaintiff and defendant.
I have found in my matrimonial law practice that timely and accurate completion of the Statement of Net Worth is essential for expeditious and fair resolution of financial issues that are always of paramount importance in divorce proceedings. Therefore, I urge you to give focused attention to this requirement which is complex, and time-consuming, but necessary to fulfilling your obligations and guaranteeing your rights to equitable distribution of marital assets.
What is the Equitable Distribution Law?
New York’s Equitable Distribution Law recognizes marriage as an economic as well as a social partnership. The law requires that a judge divide property as fairly as possible.
The Equitable Distribution Law talks about two types of property for purposes of divorce: marital property and separate property. Marital property will be divided between the two spouses.
Marital Property: all property either spouse bought during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the property. Pension plans and other retirement plans are considered marital property. The portion of marital property earned during the marriage will be divided by the court.
Separate Property: property a spouse owned before the marriage, or any inheritance or personal injury payments or gifts from someone other than the spouse during the marriage.
To see the factors a court should consider in making an equitable distribution award, see Domestic Relations Law § 236(B)(5)(d). http://www.nysdivorce.com/equitable-distribution.html
Can you get spousal maintenance (sometimes called “alimony”)?
Spousal maintenance (sometimes called alimony) is money an ex-spouse may be required to pay the other spouse after they get divorced. Temporary maintenance is money a spouse may be required to pay the other spouse while the action is pending in contested actions only. A revised law was passed in 2015 providing guidelines for both types of maintenance. For more information, see
Can you get Child Support?
What is child support?
New York law says that children are entitled to share in the income and standard of living of both parents. Child support is the money that the non-custodial parent pays to the custodial parent if the child is under 21. Child support is based on a strict formula. See the Child Support Standards Chart.
Child support may be awarded by the Supreme Court as part of a divorce, or in Family Court as part of a child support proceeding.
How does a court calculate child support?
First, the court determines each parent’s net income. Net income is gross income minus certain deductions, such as FICA, NYC income tax, Yonkers income tax, spousal support and child support paid for other child(ren). Second, the court adds the parents’ net income together and multiplies that number by a percentage, depending on how many children they have:
• 17% for one child
• 25% for two children
• 29% for three children
• 31% for four children
• no less than 35% for five or more children
That amount is then divided based on the proportion of each parent’s net income to the combined parental net income.
In addition to the basic child support obligation, a spouse may also be required to pay for child care expenses, educational expenses, and medical expenses.
How to Calculate Child Support
What happens to property after a divorce?
During the divorce, both spouses have to tell the judge about their income and any debts they owe. When the court grants a divorce property will be divided equitably (though not always equally) between the spouses.