What is a Financial Affidavit, and do I need one for my Florida Divorce?
Prior to proceeding with a settlement agreement in a divorce, the state of Florida requires a full financial disclosure. The majority of divorce cases in Florida need a family law Financial Affidavit. This financial document is key to ensuring an equitable distribution of assets under Florida law.
No matter whether you’re filing a contested or uncontested divorce, asset distribution is one of the most important aspects of the process. Even when you and your spouse are on good terms, the court requires that you complete a financial affidavit. Without completion of the form, your divorce agreement will not be recognized by the state.
The financial affidavits must be printed in black ink only or typed. Once completed, the form must be signed in front of the deputy clerk or a notary. The original is filed with the clerk of the circuit court where the divorce petition was filed. You can then keep a copy for your own records as well.
Information on Financial Affidavits
A financial affidavit asks for a variety of information, including employment details and your monthly gross income. There is a breakdown checklist of how your monthly income total is derived. You have to include money received from sources like social security, workers’ compensation, alimony, royalties, interest, and more. There is also a section on applicable deductions, like taxes, Medicare payments, court-ordered child support from other relationships, etc.
You will also need to break down your monthly expenses, including rent or mortgage payment, insurance, property tax, food and home supplies, cable, housekeeper and landscaper, utilities, and more. The form also includes a section on assets and liabilities.
Types of Florida Financial Affidavits
There are two types of financial affidavits utilized in Florida cases. The first is 12.902(b), or the Family Law Financial Affidavit Short Form. This form is the required one when your individual gross income is under $50,000 per year. The other is 12.902(c), the Family Law Financial Affidavit Long Form. This is the form used when individual gross income is $50,000 or more a year.
When Aren’t Financial Affidavits Required
There are some limited situations where you are not required to fill out a financial affidavit. These include:
- A simplified divorce under rule 12.105 where both parties have waived the affidavit.
- There are no support issues, no minor children, and you have prepared and filed a written settlement agreement that disposes of all financial issues.
- The court lacks the necessary jurisdiction to decide any financial issues.
Retaining a Florida Divorce Attorney
While a full financial disclosure might seem unnecessary, it’s important for your own protection. It helps protect your rights and ensure an equitable distribution.
It can feel overwhelming to complete the detailed form on your personal finances and information. This is one reason why retaining a Florida divorce attorney is helpful. The team at the Law Offices of Schwartz | White have decades of experience handling all areas of family law, including divorce. Let us help you through this emotional process and ensure everything is done correctly to help expedite your divorce. Contact our office today at 561-391-9943 to schedule a consultation.