Now that we have established the elements of the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit (DRFA). Why is it necessary for you to complete one?
Superior Court Rule 24 requires that litigants in domestic relations actions complete one. Failure to do so could result in a citation of contempt.
In a divorce, Judges refer to it to calculate child support, to determine whether alimony is warranted, to determine how much alimony, to determine attorney's fees, and to determine the division of assets and debts. In child custody and support cases, they refer to it in determining support.
Litigants should carefully review their DRFAs before signing them to ensure that all the values are correct as they can have drastic consequences in your case. For example, if you are paying your child's day care costs and the cost is showing at $100 per month but in reality it is a $1000 per month, the child support you receive may be lower.
Lately, I have noticed more and more judges immediately opening the file to ensure that updated Domestic Relations Financial Affidavits. They want to know that these are the most current values for gross income, day care expenses and health insurance for the children since those three are critical in determining support.
In sum, review your Financial Affidavit carefully before submitting it. Ensure that the values are correct. If you are asking for your spouse to pay a portion of marital debt make sure that the debt is listed on your DRFA. If you are representing yourself, carefully review the opposing party's DRFA. Note any discrepancies and use that in your cross examination.