Monday, December 29, 2008


For those whose have cases in Madison County, Indiana, I thought I might post a bit on our local rules. You can find these rules online here.

Financial Declarations on forms adopted by the Court and Indiana Child Support worksheets shall be completed in full, dated and filed prior to trial in all contested matters involving child support or disposition of assets. Financial Declarations, with current pay stub attached, shall be filed with the Court two (2) days before any preliminary or final hearing. Child support worksheets shall be filed with the Court on the hearing date. Absent objection, the financial declaration shall be considered as received in evidence subject to cross-examination. Direct examination on matters in the financial declaration shall be confined to unusual items or factors requiring explanation or correction.
The Declaration shows monthly gross income, monthly deductions from pay, net monthly income and also a list of assets and liabilities. It is supposed to give a general financial picture of the parties.

The Declaration has its best use in divorce cases. I have seen more problems with its use in support modification cases.

In support cases following a second marriage, there are some who show all expenses and their income without showing any sharing of expenses by the new spouse. It annoys my clients a good bit when they see the Declaration filled out this way. I get a little bit annoyed as this will mean discovery to get the correct numbers and a bit longer cross-examination to clean up the Declaration that was supposed to be a true and accurate description of assets, liabilities and income.

I still think the Declaration (and those from other counties) would be a great basis for a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet could then be used to present the financial affairs to the court. I know that sounds like a neat-o kind of thing but I think it could be more than that. As I understand spreadsheets, they allow for the showing of different scenarios. This seems to me to allow for showing the effect of different divisions of marital property.

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