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Rhode Island Divorce – The Confusing DR-6 Financial Form

If you are in divorce proceedings in Rhode Island, you will be presented with a form known as a DR-6. This form requires you to provide a variety of financial information. You must appear in any new divorce proceeding in the Rhode Island Family Court and most people find it to be one of the most vexing tasks of their divorce.

The DR-6 form that you MUST submit when you file your Rhode Island Divorce Complaint is your Statement of Financial Assets and Obligations. It is usually a single page with a front and back that must be completed. The front of the form lists your assets and income and the back of the form lists your expenses and debt. It has generally been understood that you only enter your specific information on this form.

For example, on the face of the form, for income, you would write your income if you are employed or any income you receive personally. You would not put your combined income with your spouse. In a Rhode Island divorce, it is important for the family court judge to have an idea of ​​what your income is in the marriage and what assets you own or claim an interest in now that your marriage has broken down. This helps the court by providing information that the judge may consider relevant to making an equitable distribution of marital property between you and your husband.

The top portion of the first side of the DR-6 financial/asset and liability statement form is usually covered by simply transferring information from a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly paycheck to the various matching boxes between the form and your paycheck

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

In addition to the income portion of the front of the DR-6, the rest of the form looks for information that may overlap. For example, if you have a joint bank account with your spouse, you should list this account 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 something, you may want to put the “approx” notation. next to the number or “better approx.” for your best approximation of what you think the value may be.

The reverse side of this required form on your Rhode Island divorce form is the expense and expense information. This provides your current financial picture information. In other words, specifically what you are currently paying for.

The back of the DR-6 form is often misunderstood for good reason. Many people fill out multiple columns, as there are weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly columns on the form. This happens even though the form says to select only one column. One column must be selected and everything must be calculated based on that single column. Therefore, you have to calculate everything up to monthly, weekly or bi-weekly. . . whatever works best for you.

The bottom of the form gives a final calculation box indicating the minimum amount of money you need to meet your obligations. This is what often confuses clients because it seems to tell them that they should put up everything they could possibly be responsible for, OR everything that has their name on it as an obligation, OR even a part 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 he has not accounted for on his DR-6 form and will leave the client with no money to pay for them.

Rhode Island divorces are difficult enough that you don’t have to stress over a confusing form. This form is intended to be updated during 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 about equitable distribution of assets as well as a reasonable contribution of debt between the parties. It is also used to determine income for child support purposes. The form can also be very useful in determining whether the income and debt obligations between the parties support a possible court determination 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 maintain the household with the parties residing separately.

The DR-6 form can, and often is, confusing. It’s not something customers should really stress about. Simply take the time to indicate your current financial situation, provide your best estimates when exact figures are not possible and/or information is not available, and be sure to notify your attorney and update the form if your financial situation changes.

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