Rule 13 Mandatory Financial Disclosure in Family Law Cases

What is it?

In most Cook County family law cases, the local court rules require each party to give the other party information relating to their income, expenses, property, assets and debts. There are three items that must be provided: 1) a disclosure statement, 2) tax returns and 3) pay stubs. It doesn’t matter if you are owed support or if you are the one who should be paying support. Both sides must comply.

This mandatory disclosure requirement goes by a couple of different names. Most attorneys refer to this material as “13.3” after the Cook County rule numbers requiring this (Cook County Local Rule 13.3.1 and 13.3.2), but you might also hear this called a “financial affidavit”, or a “disclosure statement.”

What do I have to provide?

1)  A Disclosure Statement form, which you can download here:

2)  Tax returns for the last 2 years, including:

  • personal tax returns for federal and state taxes
  • business tax returns for federal and state taxes (if you own a small business)
  • OR your W-2s, 1099s and K-1s for the same period, if you haven’t filed taxes yet

3)  Pay stubs:

  • your most recent pay stub if it shows your year-to-date compensation 
  • OR the last 5 pay stubs you have received if they do not show year-to-date compensation

Does this Mandatory Disclosure apply to all family law cases?

No, but it applies in most cases. Rule 13 disclosure is only required in cases involving:

  • division of the marital estate
  • maintenance
  • child support
  • educational/college expenses
  • disposition of property in a civil union
  • retroactive child support in parentage matters
  • awards of fees and costs against the other party

When do I need to provide the Mandatory Disclosure?

The rules say within the first 30 days after the case started, or 7 days before a hearing, whichever comes first.

Judges are allowed to issue sanctions against a party that does not provide the information in time, but it’s rare. More practically, a party must complete their mandatory disclosures before they are allowed to issue any further discovery requests, including interrogatories, requests to produce or depositions. For my clients, I refuse to answer any discovery requests until the other side has given me their mandatory disclosures. It’s best to comply with mandatory disclosures as soon as possible.