In divorce proceedings, you and your spouse’s respective financial situations will need to be laid bare before the court. This is due, in large part, to the fact that there needs to be an accurate accounting in order to properly distribute marital property in an equitable manner. Furthermore, such an accounting is necessary in order to properly assess whether alimony should be awarded and, if so, how much to award. Because finances and other personal information play such a critical role in addressing issues central to the divorce process, the Florida Supreme Court has established mandatory disclosures that parties to a divorce case must supply.
Mandatory Disclosures in Florida Family Law
Much of the mandatory disclosures will fall within the purview of the financial affidavits each party to the divorce proceedings must complete. Filing a Florida Financial Affidavit cannot be waived. Such an affidavit is required in all divorce cases and must be completed accurately, honestly, and in full. The party filing the affidavit must sign the form and have it notarized before filing it with the court.
Because the financial affidavit is meant to establish a comprehensive picture of your financial situation, you will have to detail all income sources as well as allowable deductions in order to complete it. Additionally, you will need to detail both your assets and liabilities. The affidavit will also require basic disclosures such as your age and occupation, as well as your employer’s contact information, and what you get paid for each job you hold. You will need to disclose your previous year’s income as well as your monthly gross income for the current year. Monthly gross income will include:
- Salary and wages
- Business income
- Disability benefits
- Social Security benefits
- Alimony payments
You will also be required to disclose your monthly deductions, including:
- Retirement payments
- Union dues
- Alimony payments
- Child support payments
- Health insurance premiums
Your monthly deductions will be subtracted from your monthly income to arrive at your net monthly income.
In addition to your monthly income, you will also be required to disclose your assets and liabilities. In other words, you will need to detail what you own and what you owe. You will also need to identify what assets are marital and what are non-marital. Such categorization, of course, can be contested. When a party is claiming an asset to be non-marital, they are claiming that they are the sole owner of the asset and, thus, it should be excluded from equitable distribution during divorce proceedings.
Complete and accurate financial disclosures must be made and failure to do so can expose a party to serious repercussions. If falsities or omissions are discovered, a party may file a motion for the court to modify, revoke, or amend any established final dissolution of marriage order or marital settlement agreement. The party who has filed the inaccurate financial affidavit may also face sanctions and be ordered to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
For assistance during divorce that you can count on, turn to the trusted team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou. We are here to assist in all aspects of divorce proceedings, including in making sure mandatory disclosure requirements are met. Contact us today.