In most divorce and custody cases in Nevada, each party must file a document called a “Financial Disclosure Form.” This can be a very important document in your case.
Nevada Rule of Civil Procedure 16.2 requires this form be filed and served no later than forty-five (45) days after the service of the summons and complaint in a divorce, annulment or separate maintenance action. Unmarried parties filing a custody action where paternity is established need only file and serve the cover sheet, the “personal income schedule” and the “business income / expense schedule” portions of the form. This Financial Disclosure Form must also be filed and served by the responding party with any response or answer to such action. You must also be sure to update this document if there are any changes.
In helping our clients who are involved in family law matters fill out Financial Disclosure Forms, we have found the following check list helpful:
- Take the time to fill out the Financial Disclosure Form completely and to the best of your ability.
- Do not simply place an item in the separate property section because you think it should be your separate property. Make sure you discuss with your attorney why you think it belongs under separate property versus community property. Whether something is separate or community in nature is governed by specific Nevada law.
- The itemized expenses on the Personal Expense Schedule must be completed, even if you must write “not applicable” or “n/a.” When filling out expense section, look carefully at each sub-category, taking the time to fill in the applicable area. In other words, when you arrive at a total on the right-hand side of the schedule, you should be able to show how you arrived at the total. Similarly, the itemized expenses under all categories within the Financial Disclosure Form must be completed, even if you must write “not applicable” or “n/a.”
- Do not guess at your expenses or “throw out” numbers without knowledge. You must be able to prove every single number/expense you are claiming in your Financial Disclosure Form. In other words, if you do not possess a bill or bank statement proving the expense, or you are unable to obtain a document proving the expense, then you should think twice before you include it in your financial disclosure form. Inform your attorney if there is any item you feel you must include as an expense, which you are unable to prove.
- Please obtain and maintain all of your records, which support or prove the sworn declarations you are making in your Financial Disclosure Form. Please provide copies of all documents supporting your declarations/numbers/calculations at the same time you deliver your completed Financial Disclosure Form to your attorney. If you represent yourself, be prepared to disclose all of the supporting information and provide this to the Court as required by Nevada’s discovery and evidence rules.
Finally, you should always be truthful. When the form is signed and filed, you are certifying to the Court that you provided the information to the best of your knowledge after reasonable inquiry. This form has important legal consequences, so, take the time to fill it out carefully and consider each of your answers. A “fillable” Financial Disclosure Form is available in this website – www.familylawselfhelpcenter.org. While the instruction sheet on this website applies more specifically to Clark County, Nevada, you can nevertheless use the form itself in all applicable Nevada family law matters that require the form to be filed.