Dissecting a Financial Declaration Form

Several counties in Indiana require parties in every divorce and paternity case, and any modification case thereafter, to complete a Financial Declaration Form. Most counties have their own form for litigants to use. You can likely find your county’s form with a simple google search or by reading the county’s local rules; the form is often times included with the local rules.

For purposes of this article, I will refer to the Hamilton County Financial Declaration Form which can be accessed here. The Marion County form is very similar as well.

  1. Page 1:

    On Page 1, all entries must be divided out into weekly amounts. It first asks for gross weekly income. This is your income before taxes are taken out. If you are paid every two weeks, then divide your gross pay by two weeks to get the weekly amount. Page 1 also asks for any VA Benefits, Disability Payments, Social Security Payments, etc. Again, divide these out to a weekly amount. If you receive a base pay plus commissions, then you will enter those amounts on two different lines. Also, fringe benefits from your employer such as a cell phone or car allowance will also be included on Page 1; in a weekly amount. Under the income portion on Page 1, you will include weekly daycare costs that are necessary when you and/or the other parent are working. You will also include the health insurance premium for the children only on Page 1.

  2. Page 2:

    This is where you list all of your monthly expenses; everything that comes out of your paycheck. The first few lines deal with taxes taken out of your checks. You will need to refer to your paycheck to see how much is taken out per pay period, then calculate that out to a monthly amount. All entries on Page 2 are monthly amounts. Fill in each expense to the best of your ability. Not every expense is the same amount every month so take an average of the last two or three months. You will list credit card debt, personal loans, student loans, and the like in the bottom section of Page 2 titled Installment Payments. You will enter in the far right column how much you pay each month towards the loan. If you have a monthly expense that is not specified on Page 2, but you want to include it, then you can write off to the side or underneath that expense and the monthly amount you pay for it.

  3. Pages 3+:

    The remainder of the Financial Declaration Form asks for all of your assets, starting on Page 3. You will list the bank accounts in your name, retirement accounts, real estate, business interests, life insurance policies, collectibles, etc. In the gross value column, you will put the item’s fair market value. In the middle column, you will put the amount of debt you owe for that item. For example, for automobiles, if your car is worth $10,000 and you still owe $6,000, then you would put $10,000 in the first column; ($6,000) in the second column; and $4,000 in the third column under net value. If there are no liens or loans on the item, then you will put the same number under the first and third columns.

  4. Verification:

    The form is also called a Verified Financial Declaration Form because you sign or verify your completed form at the end.