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Even though you might get stuck with a bad financial statement, the Judge cannot ignore the true facts sometimes.

In a recent blog, we showed how a fellow was punished on both ends with inaccuracies in his Rule 8.05 financial statement. In Jones v Jones, NO. 2011–CA–01440–COA (Decided April 30, 2013) an attorney litigant “ guesstimated” numbers on his 8.05. The Judge took numbers the attorney didn't like (values he had over estimated) and didn't take numbers the attorney liked (budget items he underestimated). The Appellate Court found that the Judge had the right to rely upon the “ guesstimates” when he chose to and the right to discount the numbers he found unreliable.

In a recent, similar, situation, the Supreme Court took the opposite tact from the lower Court of Appeals. In Collins v Collins, No. 2010–CT–01909–SCT (5/9/13) the Court reversed a case where child support was calculated by the Judge based upon a poorly prepared financial statement. The Supreme Court found that even though the man had prepared an inadequate statement, it was important in child support matters for the Judge to base her decision on evidence where she could; in this case, checking account records from the business.

Hard and fast rules are hard to come by in Court.