Income and Expenses Declarations (form FL-150) are probably the most important document filed in relation to child and spousal support proceedings. It is the parties’ way to show the court their income. For this reason, it is vital that the Income and Expense Declarations are complete and properly filled out. If not, you may receive the ire of the court and even worse, be attributed too much income.
First, the Income and Expense Declaration must be current for the past 90 days. Even if an Income and Expense Declaration was filed with a motion to request support, if the hearing occurs over 90 days later, the Income and Expense Declaration is not valid. Therefore, it will require the party to update the document. The 90 days runs from the date the declaration is signed, not the filing date.
The most important aspect of the Income and Expense Declaration is the statement of the party’s income. Page 2 of the declaration addresses the party’s income. If you are a W-2 employee you must provide the last two months of pay stubs and the prior years W-2 form. If the party is self-employed, the party must provide a profit and loss statement for the current year and the Schedule C forms for the prior two years. If a party does not provide the required documents, the court may continue the hearing, deny the support request or determine an income that may be inaccurate. Therefore, it is important that you provide the correct documents and information. If the court determines you have misrepresented your income, the court can sanction you. Some sanctions can be a considerable amount of money. Furthermore, you have now painted the picture to the court that you are attempting to deceive them which is never good.
The expense part of the declaration on page 3 is also important, more specifically as to spousal support and attorney fees requests. This section should be completed accurately because attorneys will notice if there is an increase or decrease in the values. As such, a party should be able to explain why there has been an increase or decrease. Failure to do so, could be detrimental to your case.
Lastly, if a party requested attorney fees, the bottom of page 3 must be completed and signed by the attorney. If not, the court can deny the request.
In sum, it is important that the Income and Expense Declaration is completed accurately. Failure to do so may be detrimental and costly to your case.
DISCLAIMER: The above article is for educational and informational use only. It is in no way intended to be legal advise. If legal advise is needed, an attorney should be consulted.