Your attorney has told you that you need to fill out an “Inventory & Appraisement” form in your divorce case. You get tired just thinking about it. You also have a deadline which increases your anxiety. Why is this document so important?
Yes, it will take some time to prepare. And you may not enjoy preparing it, especially if you aren’t sure of the details. But it is crucial to your case. It is “sworn”, which means that you are stating, under oath, that it is accurate to the best of your knowledge.
Why should you take this seriously?
- It is required by the court, not “politely requested”, required!
- It will guide your lawyer in preparing your case, negotiating and preparing for trial.
- It will show the opposing party and his/her attorney your view of the items and value of the property and debts
- It will serve as a guide during mediation
- This shows your position and your claim. If you don’t file an accurate one, your spouse’s position can be advanced, when it comes to splitting the property and your position may not be well documented.
This is a standardized way to show, at a glance, what is owned by the parties together and separately. Think about it- without the existence of this document, everyone could bring different lists, organized in different ways, impossible to understand or compare.
Your lawyer will review the Inventory filed by your spouse as well, and will go over it with you. The attorneys of both parties use the filed Inventories and other documentation to determine the amount of assets and debts and to negotiate how the property should be split. Each attorney fights for his/her client’s position, using this document. Later on, if there is a trial, the judge will use the filed Inventories to make a ruling on how the assets and debts will be split.
And a final note!! Make sure you fill out the inventory legibly and get it back to your attorney ON TIME! This will benefit YOU!
Kalish Law Office – Passionate, Professional, Personal- Serving families and businesses since 1984!