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Rhode Island Divorce - The Confusing DR-6 Financial Form

If you're in a Rhode Island Divorce proceeding you'll be introduced to a form known as the DR-6.  This form requires you to provide a variety of financial information.  It must be filed in any new divorce proceeding in the Rhode Island Family Courts and most people find it to be one of the more annoying tasks of their divorce.

The DR-6 Form that you MUST file at the time of your Rhode Island Divorce Complaint filing is your Statement of Assets and Financial Obligations.  It is usually a single page with front and back that must be completed.  The front side of the form contains your assets and income and the back side of the form contains your expenses and your debt.  Typically it has been understood that you only put your specific information on this form.

For instance, on the front side of the form, for income you would put your income if you are employed or any income that you receive personally.  You would not put down your combined income with your spouse.  In a Rhode Island Divorce is it important that the family court judge has a picture of what your income is in the marriage and what assets you have or that you claim an interest in now that your marriage has broken down.  This assists the court by giving information that the judge may consider pertinent in making an equitable distribution of the marital estate between you and your husband.

The top portion of the first side of the DR-6 Financial Form / Statement of Assets and Liabilities is typically covered by simply transferring the information from a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly paycheck into the various boxes that match up between the form and your paycheck.

The remainder of the front side of the DR-6 financial form seeks information about health and life insurances, bank accounts and assets such as a the value of your home or other real estate, tangible property, retirement accounts (i.e. 401k, 403b, IRA's, Pensions) and motor vehicles.

Other than the income portion of the front side of the DR-6 the remainder of the form seeks information that may overlap.  For instance, if you have a joint bank account with your spouse you would put this account down and how much is in the account because you both "own" that bank account as an asset.  However, it would be wise to note on the form that it is a "joint" bank account.  If you are approximating the value of anything, you may wish to put the notation "approx." beside the number or "best approx." for your best approximation as to what you believe the value may be.

The reverse side of this necessary form in your Rhode Island Divorce form is the expenses and expenditures information.  This provides information regarding your current financial picture.  In other words, specifically what you are currently paying. 

The back of the DR-6 form is frequently misunderstood with good reason.  Many people fill out multiple columns since there are columns for weekly, bi-weekly and monthly on the form.  This happens even though the form indicates that you should select only one column.  One column should be selected and everything calculated based upon that single column.  Thus, you should calculate everything down to monthly, weekly or bi-weekly . . . whichever works best for you.

The bottom of the form gives a final calculation box the indicates the minimum amount of monies you need to meet your obligations.  This is what often confuses clients because it seems to tell them that they should put in everything that they might be responsible for, OR everything that has their name on it as an obligation, OR even a portion of everything they claim to have an interest in that has a payment on it.  The fear is that the judge will order the client to pay additional things that they haven't factored in to their DR-6 form and it will leave the client without monies to pay them.

Rhode Island divorces are hard enough without you having to stress over a confusing form.  This form is intended to be updated throughout the divorce process as often as necessary to keep the court up to date regarding the changing financial circumstances of each party.  It has been used by Rhode Island family court judges to help make suggestions regarding the equitable distribution of assets as well as a reasonable apportionment of debt between the parties.  It is also used to determine income for purposes of child support.  The form may also be very useful in determining whether the income and debt obligations between the parties support a possible determination by the court that there should be a deferred sale of the marital home if there are minor children of the parties and the income and assets of the parties is sufficient to sustain the home with the parties residing separately.

The DR-6 form can, and often is, confusing.  It is not something that clients truly need to stress over.  Just take the time to indicate your current financial picture, give your best approximations where exact figures are not possible and/or the information is not available and make sure you notify your attorney and update the form if your financial picture changes.

My business isn't divorce.  It's guiding you to a brighter tomorrow!

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