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Financial Affidavits and Documentation: The Third Step in the Florida Divorce Process

Filing for divorce can be a complex and confusing process. The first two steps, filing a petition for the dissolution of marriage and serving one’s spouse with the divorce petition, upon completion, lead to the third step of divorce in Florida: submitting all relevant financial documentation as well as signing and filing a financial affidavit. The submission of this affidavit must be performed within 45 days of the date of the petition being served to the non-filing spouse. What are these documents, why are they necessary, and what is required from a divorcing individual? Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers regarding these integral parts of the Florida divorce process.

Why Do I Need to File My Financial Documents at All?

A big part of a court’s responsibility in reviewing and approving divorce agreements is the fair division of property and assets between the individual spouses. Having accurate financial documents from both parties allows the court to ensure the division of assets is fair, accurately represents the parties’ contributions to the marital property, and appropriately sets up the parties for life on their own. An understanding of the property and assets of both spouses also assists the court in assigning post-divorce payments like alimony and child support, and may affect custody and visitation decisions.

What Is a Financial Affidavit?

An affidavit is simply a written statement from a party in a legal action that is sworn and signed, and considered “under oath”. The financial affidavit in the Florida divorce process is used to list accurate financial information for the court’s consideration in the divorce negotiations and in granting approval to the final divorce agreement. The financial affidavit in Florida can be submitted using a boilerplate form, available in most county court clerk’s offices.

What Documents Will I Need to Provide?

Other than the financial affidavit, an individual seeking a divorce should expect to turn over a large variety of financial documents to the court. These documents may include financial, bank, and credit card statements, recent tax returns, records of income, assets, and debts, and indeed any other relevant documents that may shed light on an individual’s financial condition and history. Spouses often receive access to these documents in the process of providing them for use in the divorce agreement proceedings or trial, which can make the protection of potentially sensitive information difficult.

How Can I Get More Help?

The entirety of Florida’s divorce process may be difficult to navigate and specifically, the negotiation of financial disclosures can be an extremely important and quite sensitive part of the process. Individuals seeking a divorce often benefit from the advice of a qualified divorce attorney to ensure that they retain assets in which they have interests, protect the confidentiality of their financial documents, and effectively advocate for a fair and equitable divorce agreement. At Schwartz l White in Boca Raton, experienced family law attorneys are standing by and ready to answer your questions. Call 561-391-9943 today.

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