About Financial Disclosure In Family Law Cases
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About Financial Disclosure in Family Law Cases
Why do I have to file a Financial Affidavit?
Both parties must file a financial affidavit with the court in all family litigation. You must file a financial affidavit even if you are obtaining an uncontested divorce. A financial affidavit requires you to figure out how much you earn, how much it costs you to live, what you own and what it is worth, and what you owe. The financial affidavit should be very carefully, thoroughly and honestly prepared. Your credibility or believability by the court is the single most important asset to be protected in any family law litigation. You may be asked to provide written proof of your monthly living expenses.
Why do I have to give all this personal financial information in the Financial Affidavit?
The information in the Financial Affidavit is required to assure full and fair disclosure of income, expenses, assets and debts. An agreement that is reached after full and fair disclosure will be enforced by the court. Failure to properly disclose information is a basis for the court setting aside or voiding the agreement later.
What is mandatory disclosure?
The Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure require certain financial disclosure be made automatically in every family law case. Each party must provide the other party with copies of certain documents within 45 days of a party being served with a lawsuit. Those documents include tax returns, loan applications, deeds, financial accounts, retirement account information, and credit card statements. We have created a checklist to make it easy to gather the proper information.
Why do I have to comply with mandatory disclosure when my spouse has the documents?
You are required to make your best efforts to comply with mandatory disclosure. Although there are documents you have in common, there are often documents for new bank accounts, new vehicles, or new financial matters that have taken place since you were last together.
My roommate helps with my monthly expenses. Do I have to list this?
Yes. Your affidavit is a sworn statement. You will likely be questioned about it in a deposition or in court. However, we can state your roommate’s contribution in a realistic way. For example, right now you are involved in a divorce process which is often costly. It is to your credit that you have a roommate temporarily to help you meet expenses and keep your living expenses down.