By Tracy Fischer
When you are in the process of getting a divorce, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the decisions you have to make. If you and your spouse are able to be amicable towards each other, then mediation is a viable and effective alternative to litigation especially when it comes to settling your finances. An experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator can help.
There are specific rules regarding financial disclosure in Massachusetts divorce. Both parties are required to provide a full and complete Probate Court Financial Statement. This Financial Statement is used in mediation as a tool to help the parties understand their income, assets and expenses. The ability to understand your current financial situation allows you to better predict a future financial picture and make informed financial decisions.
If you earn less than $75,000 each year, you can fill out the “short-form.” If you earn more than $75,000, you are required to fill out the “long-form”. Both forms require specific and detailed financial information. For the purpose of mediation, the Mandatory Self Disclosure rules require back up documentation, such as recent bank and retirement account statements, credit card statements, life insurance policies, loan documents and tax returns. The reality is that you may end up having to complete this form more than once depending upon how long it takes for your divorce to be finalized. The final Financial Statement must be current at the time you appear in court for the divorce hearing.