Domestic Relations Financial Affidavits, commonly referred to as DRFAs for short, are sworn financial statement required by most counties in Georgia divorce and other family law cases. The DRFA is similar to a budget in that it requires the parties to a divorce to itemize monthly income and expenses, and list assets and debts, like bank accounts, real estate, and credit card debt. DRFAs are sworn statements, meaning that the party completing the DRFA must swear or attest that the information contained in the affidavit is true and accurate. The accuracy of financial affidavits are critical to the outcome to domestic relations actions in Georgia such as divorce because important issues, such as child support and alimony are based on the parties relative financial circumstances.
If you are completing a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit for your Georgia divorce, there are four key things you need to know before submitting your DRFA to the court:
1. Your divorce attorney will review you DRFA, but only for glaring mistakes. Remember, your attorney only knows what you tell him or her and is not intimately familiar with your finances. As attorneys, if we notice that your spending $5,000 a month on your electricity bill or if we see that 30% of your monthly budget is comprised of clothing purchases, we will bring these obvious discrepancies and concerns to your attention. But, it is very likely that your attorney will not know that you actually meant to put $35 for your cable bill instead of $50. With this being said, please carefully review your affidavit before submitting it.
2. Be as accurate as possible. If at all possible use actual amounts in your financial affidavit, and try not to guess or estimate your average monthly income and expenses. When you are completing your affidavit, consult your paystubs and bill invoices to ascertain accurate amounts.
3. Don’t Lie. As mentioned above, DRFA are sworn statements that often must be signed in the presence of a notary. Divorce courts rely on the accuracy of financial affidavits and expect each party to completely and honestly complete them. When you submit your DRFA, you swear under oath that the information you provided is true and correct to the best of your knowledge. Thus, if you provide false or misleading information on you DRFA intentionally, you may be subject to court ordered punishment for making false statements under oath.
4. You can revise your DRFA. Things change, and if they do, you can revised your Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit accordingly. Be sure not to over utilize this privilege however, as repeated revisions to your financial affidavit may cause the court or opposing attorney to question the validity or credibility of your financial disclosures.