FAMILY LAW BLOG
Why Do I Have to File a Financial Affidavit?
You must file a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit (DRFA) in every family law case involving money before you can have a hearing on the issues in your case. This means if you are involved in a case involving divorce, child support, alimony, contempt of court order payments, or a request for attorney’s fees, you are going to have to sit down, look at your budget, and fill out a DRFA.So, what is a DRFA? A Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit (or DRFA), is supposed to be an accurate description of your income and expenses. Click here to see what a DRFA looks like. It is not supposed to be a representation of what you should pay, and you shouldn’t manipulate your expenses so that it looks like you have a lot of expenses, less income, or a lot of disposable income. There isn’t any goal with the financial affidavit other than to be accurate as possible.
A DRFA is one of the most important forms you will fill out because a judge will use the figures you list on the DRFA form to decide all of the financial questions in your case. It is important that the figures in the DRFA are accurate so that the judge can understand your individual financial situation in determining issues such as child support, property division, alimony, and who is to pay attorney’s fees. Remember, the DRFA is an affidavit; it is signed under oath, and the opposing attorney can cross-examine you on what you write in the DRFA. If you don’t fill it out accurately, you can look like you are hiding something when you are confronted about it on cross-examination, which never goes over well with the judge. So, make sure you are honest!
Our clients also frequently ask us: why should I file a DRFA when the other party has not filed one? See our post on Being the Bigger Person (click here) for the answer to that question.
If you have questions on how to complete a DRFA, call us and ask. We are happy to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.