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What are ‘weekly expenses’ in a Massachusetts divorce?

Previously on this blog, we talked about the fact that those Massachusetts residents filing for divorce will have to complete a financial statement and submit it to the court. The purpose behind this is to allow the court to determine the financial situations of both parties so as to better make a decision on various aspects of the divorce case, such as property division and child support. Because child support is generally calculated based upon the state guidelines, which rely on the incomes of both parties, this information is crucial to a fair determination of the support amount.

Filling out the financial statement can be straightforward at times, but there may be some instances of confusion for certain people. For example, most people will be able to fairly easily handle the income section, as they would simply place their gross wages from a W-2 or other tax document. However, some folks may have other sources of income, or be self-employed, which will mandate a bit more complicated procedure.

One of the more complex areas of the financial statement is the section devoted to expenses. Because these expenses need to be calculated based upon a weekly time period, there may be some elementary math involved. The statement asks for parties to a divorce to list household expenses including those spent on heating, telephone, household supplies, clothing, medical insurance, automobile expenses, and child care. Parties may also list other expenses such as vacations and entertainment spending.

Because this is an official court document that will be used to make a decision in the case, it is important that it be filled out accurately and completely. Massachusetts residents going through a divorce should be sure to familiarize themselves with the documents they will be required to file, and if they have questions, they may wish to consider contacting an experienced family attorney.