Financial Disclosures in Florida Divorce
When you file for divorce, you (as well as the other party) may be required to make financial disclosures that help make the division of assets/debts, alimony, child support, and other divorce-related fiscal decisions. In this article, we will discuss what will be revealed in the financial affidavit, who must complete the disclosure, and more.
Is A Financial Affidavit Necessary in Every Divorce?
In Florida, there are two versions of the financial affidavit that must be completed in a divorce case: the short form and the long form disclosure. If either party in a divorce makes over $50,000, they will need to submit the long-form version of the Family Law Financial Affidavit. Parties may be excused from submitting a financial affidavit if:
- They have resolved all financial-related issues concerning their marriage or have waived the right to alimony and do have children.
- They are filing for a “Simplified Dissolution of Marriage,” which requires couples to waive the financial disclosure requirements.
- The court doesn’t have jurisdiction concerning the financial-related issues in the divorce.
What Financial Information Is Revealed in an Affidavit?
It is important to note that even if a couple has a martial agreement (pre- or postnuptial agreement) they must still complete the Family Law Financial Affidavit, and you will submit your marital agreement along with your affidavit. You will also need to provide the following documents and information.
- Any streams of income you have (evidenced by W2s, pay stubs, tax returns, etc.)
- Loan applications or debts (evidenced by statements from the last 3 months)
- Real estate documents (i.e. deeds, titles, leases, etc.)
- Pension or retirement accounts
- Life insurance policies
- Bank account/savings information
- Monthly living expenses
- Business tax returns (if applicable)
When Do You Have to File a Financial Disclosure?
Your financial affidavit should be filed with the court and served to your spouse when you petition for divorce. If you are not the original petitioner, you should file your affidavit within 45 days of being served with the divorce petition.
What Happens If Proper Financial Disclosures Are Not Made in Florida?
If you or the other party are requesting financial relief (i.e. alimony, child support, etc.), financial disclosure is mandatory. In Florida, if there is a failure to comply with mandatory disclosure within 45 days, the court may proceed with the divorce without considering the claims and desires of the party who fails to submit the affidavit. In some cases, the court may even dismiss the case.
What Happens If You Lie on a Financial Affidavit in Florida?
While you may be tempted to lie on your affidavit and conceal assets, income, or debts, that is not a good idea. To complete your financial disclosure form, you must sign and swear that you have honestly and truthfully completed the affidavit. Your signature carries the same weight that testimony under oath in court does, and you can face serious consequences—including fines and jail time—if you knowingly make false claims.
Contact Our Firm for Help
At Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office, our legal team is dedicated to helping clients protect their interests and achieve a favorable outcome in their divorces. We are equipped to help you navigate the unique concerns of your divorce (and divorce-related issues such as alimony, child custody, or child support) whether:
- You need help filing for a contested or uncontested divorce.
- Your case has some complexities because it is a military divorce, same-sex divorce, or high asset/net worth divorce.
- You plan to resolve your issues in mediation or court.
If you are wondering how to protect yourself financially, our attorney is here to help you accurately complete your disclosure and advise you of your best options concerning how to protect your assets and wealth.
Call Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office, today at (727) 312-1112 or contact us online to learn more about financial disclosures in Florida divorce!