Here’s news for anyone who wants a divorce in Florida, whether a contested or an uncontested Florida divorce: you and your spouse will both have to complete and file a financial affidavit with the court and provide a copy to your spouse. It is required in all Florida divorces, even if you and your spouse have no marital property or debt.
So what exactly is the financial affidavit, and what is it supposed to do? A financial affidavit is a snapshot, a picture, of your financial condition, including your income and expenses; and your assets and liabilities, including non-marital assets. A financial affidavit is NOT a budget, and you can run into trouble if you try to use it as one.
The financial affidavit is used to disclose to the court and your spouse your financial condition. It provides a uniform way to do this without taking unnecessary court time or costing you time and attorney’s fees in proving what your spouse owns and what was or was not acquired during the marriage. It is also the document that will contribute to setting the Florida child support obligation of each party.
The Florida Family Law Rules require disclosure of financial information between the parties and in all cases include, at a minimum, the filing of a financial affidavit.
In a simple Florida divorce, or simplified divorce in Florida, the financial affidavit is usually the only document you will file with the court to comply with disclosure requirements. In an uncontested Florida divorce, one that is not a simple divorce, your financial affidavit may be the only document you file to comply with disclosure requirements. In a contested divorce, the financial affidavit is important and will accompany many, many, other documents complying with the disclosures required.
The Florida Forms for divorce include two financial affidavit forms. There is one financial affidavit for a party who has $50,000 in income per year, and one for a party who has more than $50,000 in income per year. So, which form will apply to you will depend on your annual income.
Once you have completed a financial affidavit, you will sign it under oath before a notary public, and file it with the court.
It is important to understand the meaning of signing this document under oath or affirmation: you are swearing or affirming to the court that the information regarding your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities as reflected in the affidavit is true. As a result, and since it is filed with the court, if your financial information does not contain information that it should contain, this can make you seem as if you’re trying to hide information.
And this will not help you if your divorce becomes contested because it can be used to make you seem…less than truthful.
(c) Vivian Rodriguez