Posts Tagged ‘financial’

Finances In A Divorce

Monday, May 7th, 2018

A person’s financial situation has more influence over day-to-day life than almost any other aspect. Finances influence our ability to enjoy certain luxuries that life brings. Money is also a very private subject. Almost universally, it is considered rude to inquire about someone’s finances in a social setting, and also viewed as arrogant to brag about money. Therefore, when a prospective client comes to our office seeking to initiate or defend a domestic lawsuit, they are often surprised at the level of financial disclosure that comes with that proceeding.

Finances indicate more than personal wealth. They are a good indicator of a person’s ability to hold down a job, ably manage their finances, and to provide security for their families. Directing your finances in a sensible way shows the court a certain level of maturity. Money is hard to earn, and easy to spend. In domestic litigation, especially when children are involved, courts take into consideration how the litigants have been able to soundly oversee their earnings.

A parent’s finances are a factor in child custody cases, and the financial situation of the parents is even included among the Albright factors that chancellors use in making a child custody determination. You can view an earlier post on our website about that factor as well as the other Albright factors through our website’s blog search function. This does not mean that chancellors will simply look at which parent makes the most money and award custody to that parent. It is but one factor to show that the person seeking custody is able to provide for the child as they need and deserve.

Income also plays a large part in the awarding of alimony or separate maintenance. If one spouse in a divorce makes much more money and the other party needs some financial assistance, courts will take that into consideration when deciding whether or not to avoid alimony.

One of the most important documents in domestic litigation is the 8.05 Financial Declaration, named for the Uniform Chancery Rule that requires certain financial disclosures to be made. This document lists a person’s income, assets, and liabilities. Having an ex-spouse be able to see that information can make clients uncomfortable, but they are important declarations to make in these cases. Chancery courts, which handle domestic matters, are courts of equity. This means that chancery courts attempt to resolve disputes in a way that is fair to both litigants and that avoids unjustly enriching one party over the other. These rules regarding financial disclosures can be a friend to those who follow them, and a foe to those who don’t.

Our office understands the uneasiness that comes with giving out financial information, but we also have the experience to know that following these rules can only help the court look favorably upon a party. For a person involved in domestic litigation, being able to show the capability to control their finances will go a long way in achieving whatever goal that person wishes to reach. If you or someone you know has a question about the financial reporting involved in a lawsuit, call the Law Office of Matthew S. Poole. We will be happy to lend our knowledge to give you a response that is the truth, and to help you navigate any domestic legal issue you may have.

Matthew Poole is a Jackson, Mississippi domestic attorney who specializes in family litigation. He was admitted to practice in 2004.

Mississippi Child Custody Factors: Financial Situation of the Parents

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

One of the worst-kept secrets in the world is that kids are expensive. They break stuff, get sick, and outgrow clothes faster than you can buy them. In child custody cases, the court will take into consideration the finances of the individual parents, not because affluence counts higher in favor of custody, but that the ability to provide for that child is extremely important. This is not to say that the parent with the most money wins. It means that if one parent is totally broke, then they will have an uphill battle in showing the rest of the factors weigh in their favor.

Parents in a good financial situation will have an easier time showing that they can provide for the child, and possibly to spoil them to some extent. Spoiling does not mean turning the child into Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Spoiling means being able to buy the child a new bike, a baseball glove, and send them to college. A good financial situation also means that the parent can provide the child with a great place to live and can afford utilities without having to worry.

Courts may also look at the parents’ financial situations by seeing if the parents are responsible with money. Credit card debt, crazy investments, and buying clothes and jewelry beyond your means will lead a judge to believe that you have trouble limiting your spending, which can adversely affect the child. A parent who can show that they have their finances under control will have the upper hand regarding this factor of a child custody determination.

This factor is one that often confuses and scares clients that come into our office. Often, these are the parents who acted as a homemaker during the relationship or who never completed school because of childcare. The financial situation of the parents does not mean that the parent who makes more money will automatically win. It is simply one factor that can help a chancellor make their decision. Taking care of a child takes a responsible person, and one of the easiest ways to show your responsibility is to prove that your financial situation is a good one for the child to grow up in. If you have a question about your child custody case, call the Law Office of Matthew Poole. We love helping people take care of what is important to them, and would love to help you too.

The 8.05 Financial Declaration: Pen and Sword

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Change in life is inevitable, and these changes can often lead to large legal implications. Modifications of child support are no different. People change jobs, lose jobs, make more money and make less money. When these things happen, modifications of child support obligations are often one of the first things people consider. That obligation cannot be changed without an order doing so from the court that established the original decree. A helpful tool in this process is the 8.05 Financial Declaration, named for the Uniform Chancery Rule that requires it. While rather simple, this form can be the difference between a win and a loss in court.

The 8.05 is straightforward enough. It lists out the party’s income, assets, liabilities, and monthly expenses. The assets that must be listed include vehicles, guns, TVs, lawnmowers, and even furniture. Other things listed are mortgages and loans (in today’s world, often student loans). Clients are often concerned at how much financial information they are being asked to reveal, however when a party is requesting a modification of child support, full disclosure of finances is extremely important. The 8.05 is the requesting party’s way of showing the court their finances in a clear and concise way, and by swearing that the figures are accurate, the party is gaining the court’s trust that their modification request is being made in good faith.

As stated in previous posts, modification of a child support obligation requires a showing of a material change in circumstances of the father, the mother, or the minor child. This can be for any number of reasons, none of which really matter without an adequate showing of proof. This is why the 8.05 is so important. When filled out correctly, this document provides hard numbers for the court to look at to aid in their decision. The 8.05 also provides support to your attorney for any more abstract arguments they may use to plead your case. The pen is mightier than the sword, but an accurate financial declaration can act as both in a child support modification case.

Clients often have many questions when filling out an 8.05, and with the extensive information that is requested in the document, those questions are usually not a surprise. When help is needed, attorneys are glad to extend that to their clients, as they should be. A full and honest financial disclosure can be your best friend during a child support modification lawsuit. While the 8.05 is simple on its face, it should not be completed in a rush, as it is an extremely sharp sword to be used in your favor. If you or someone you know is seeking a modification of a child support obligation, call the Law Office of Matthew S. Poole. Our office has the experience to guide you through this difficult process, and emphasizes the little things that may turn out to be an important element in the outcome.