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How to Complete the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit

How to Complete the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit

If you and your spouse are filing for divorce in Cumming Georgia (or any other Georgia Court), a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit (commonly referred to as DRFA) is one of the first legal document that must be completed. It must be submitted to the court and to your spouse (or their counsel) at least fifteen (15) days prior to any preliminary hearing and at least ten (10) days before any mediation session.  See Uniform Superior Court Rule 24.2 for additional DRFA requirements which apply to all Cumming, Georgia domestic, divorce and family law cases.

The Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit form is a sworn statement, signed in the presence of a notary public and stating under oath that the information being provided is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge. The DRFA contains a detailed summary of financial circumstances itemizing all the financial assets and estimated expenses (average monthly expenses) of you and your spouse. The DRFA will be used by the court to get a better understanding of each party’s current financial situation and the court will use that information to decide on issues including: child support, alimony, division of property division, attorney’s fees.

Although the Georgia Superior Court Rules require the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit to be filed with the court and served on the opposing party, the Rules do not guide you through the process of filling out the DRFA form. Filling out the DRFA form with very little or no directions can be extremely difficult and time-consuming but you do not want to include any inaccurate information in the form because you are signing the form under oath. Therefore, it is important that you take enough time to properly record all of your assets and expenses in the DRFA form and go over it in full with your attorney. Taking utmost precautions will save your time in the long run by avoiding inaccuracies and misinformation that may work against you during any divorce hearing.

Although the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit ‘s format can vary from case-to-case and from county-to-county, the basic requirements of Georgia DRFAs remain the same throughout the state, including Cumming Georgia’s Superior Court. Below are some helpful tips to consider when filing out each of the five basic sections of the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit.

General Information Section of the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit

The General Information Section asks for basic information: your name and age, your spouse’s name and age, date of marriage, and date of separation. This section also requests the full name and birthdate of any children for whom support is to be determined. If you have any other children, you should also list each of those children along with their date of birth. Note that the word “affiant” refers to the person completing the form.

Summary of Your Income and Needs

A summary of the information from the other sections of the DRFA is common, and usually on the first page of most DRFA forms. If you have completed the other sections described below, then this section can be completed with the resulting totals.  Note that the information requested in the Summary of Your Income and Needs section of the DRFA form includes your employment (occupation, employer) and income (number of exemptions claims and pay period). If you are currently unemployed, you will also need to: describe your efforts to find employment, how soon you expect to be employed, and the pay you expect to receive.

Gross Monthly Income

In the Gross Monthly income section, you need to fill-in your any and all monthly income you receive including employment and other possible income sources such as a pension plan, rental income, bonuses, overtime pay, severance pay, interests/dividends, disability insurance, lotteries, and judgments from civil cases. If you have any such additional sources of income, make sure to inform your attorney of those and explain what they are and how much you typically receive. You must state your monthly gross income, not your weekly or annual income. Make sure you calculate your gross monthly income accurately. If you are required to attach a copy of your most recent wage statements (pay stubs, statement of earnings, etc.) be sure to mark out (redact) your social security number. Determine the amount of state taxes, federal taxes and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes and use the amount to calculate your net monthly income. Do not include other deductions such as health, dental, vision or life insurance premium in calculating your net monthly income

Assets Section

The Assets section of the DRFA asks for your assets including both non-martial and marital property. You must disclose any non-marital assets acquired prior to your marriage. Assets include anything you have that has a cash value including but not limited to the following: real estates, houses, checking and savings accounts, stocks/bonds, automobiles. List the total value of each asset, i.e., the fair market value of an asset. Valuation of asset can be difficult for some items and in some cases you may have to hire a qualified appraiser to obtain more accurate value of your real estate or businesses. Make sure to list all of your assets on the DRFA because failure to do so can damage your credibility and your divorce case. You should even disclose an asset (such as stock options) that may have a zero value at the time of filing the divorce, but could increase its value in the future.

Average Monthly Expenses Section

The Average Monthly Expenses section of the DRFA requests you to provide all major expenses, including household, automobile, children etc. You must list the bills you currently pay at your current residence. You should not include your spouse’s expenses if you and your spouse no longer live together. Make sure to calculate your average monthly expenses because many expenses such as utilities vary depending on the season. If you have a one-time annual expense, then you must divide the amount by twelve (12) months. With regard to the insurance, you must separately enter the amount you pay for your children’s insurance. You may need to contact office manager or administrator, or check your benefits to find out the sole cost of the children’s insurance.

Payments to Creditors

Divorce Attorneys Family Lawyers Cumming GeorgiaThe Payments to Creditors section of the DRFA asks for all other expenses not listed previously. This may include but not limited to the following: student, loans, vehicle loans, monthly credit card debt, and other money you owe. You must enter the creditor’s name (to whom you owe), the full balance due, the monthly payment, and the person who is responsible for the payment. It is recommended that you obtain your own credit report to make sure that you have included all of the debt in your name. You can obtain a free annual credit report online.

Total Monthly Expenses

In the Total Monthly Expenses section of the DFRA, you will be required to add up all your monthly expenses enter the resulting sum in the form where designated.

Updated: 2010-10-09

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