One of the reasons that divorce is a cumbersome process are the mandatory 410 self disclosures that are required in every contested divorce in Massachusetts. These documents are required to be exchanged between parties within 45 days of the service of the divorce complaint. The rationale behind these disclosures is the Court’s interest that both parties in a divorce have a clear picture of the financial situation of their spouse and of the marriage itself.
The situation that comes to mind where these 410 disclousres are imperative are in divorces where one spouse is largely in the dark about the financial details of the marriage. It is critical to have these documents in order to determine what type of support the person can expect, whether there are any retirement funds to rely upon, and whether their spouse has bank acccounts that the other spouse was not aware. Sometimes there may be money in a joint account held by the spouse and another individual. The spouse could have been funneling marital assets into that account. The 410 disclosures help ferret out those situations and let you know where further discovery is necessary.
The following documents are required to be exchanged under Rule 410 of the Massachusetts Domestic Relations Procedure:
1. three years of the parties federal and state tax returns as well as three years of any corporate returns of which either party has an interest;
2. four most recent pay stubs;
3. documentation regarding cost and nature of available health insurance of either party;
4. three years of bank statements for any bank accounts held in the name of either party, individually or jointly or in the name of another person for the benefit of eother party or held by either party to benefit the parties minor children;
5. three years of statements for any stocks, bonds, securities, notes or obligations, cd’s, 401k statements, IRA statements and pension plan statements;
6. copies of any loan or mortgage applications made by either party within the last three years; and’
7. copies of any financial statements prepared by either party within the last three years.
A good attorney can help you get these documents together and conduct additional discovery to make sure that you are fully informed about the finances of your marriage.