Like most other states, Florida requires the parties of a divorce to complete a Family Law Financial Affidavit. This form is designed to make the divorce process—or, the property division aspect of it—as smooth and transparent as possible. This form ensures that both parties are aware of all debts and assets that exist. Those debts and assets will be distributed according to Florida’s equitable distribution standards. This form also requires parties to disclose income from all sources.
That said, not ALL parties of divorce are required to fill out a financial affidavit. The Boca Raton divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, P.A., can advise you as to whether or not you need a financial affidavit, and if so, how you should go about completing one.
When You Are Required to Submit a Financial Affidavit
First and foremost, it is important to understand that not all financial affidavits are the same. Florida has two forms of financial affidavits: a short-form affidavit and a long-form one. The long-form affidavit is designed for individuals with a gross income of $50,000 or more. If neither party of the union makes $50,000 or more a year, each may be permitted to fill out a short form.
However, as mentioned above, the state of Florida does not require every party to submit an affidavit. The state allows exceptions for couples whose situations meet one of the following requirements:
- The couple has opted for a simplified dissolution and waived the filing of a financial affidavit;
- The couple does not have any children together, has no support issues, and has filed a written settlement that effectively resolves all financial issues related to the marriage.
Financial Information Revealed in an Affidavit
A lot of individuals feel uncomfortable filling out a financial affidavit because it is so revealing. Yet, they are necessary for the property division aspect of a standard divorce. If your union or separation does not fall into one of the categories above, expect to present the following documents to your own attorney, your spouse’s attorney, and the judge:
- Business tax returns, if applicable;
- Personal tax returns;
- Documentation of income, which could be in the form of paystubs;
- Loan applications or financial statements prepared within the past year;
- Three months of statements from your bank account;
- The most recent statements from any retirement savings accounts;
- Real estate documents, including land titles, promissory notes, or leases;
- Proof of health and dental insurance for you, your children, and/or your spouse;
- Proof of life insurance policies, if applicable; and
- All debt statements from the prior three months (e.g. credit card statements).
If you and your spouse have a premarital contract, that would be an important document to turn up. Though you will still need to fill out an affidavit, it could help simplify the property distribution process exponentially.
Finally, the above is the minimum financial disclosures required in a divorce. Florida allows parties to propound additional discovery requests upon their spouse in order to review additional documents and information necessary to uncover and analyze the financial picture of the parties and the divorce.
Let a Boca Raton Divorce Attorney Guide You Through the Process
Divorce is complicated, but one of the most complex aspects of any separation is the property division process—which really begins with the financial affidavit. If you fill out the form wrong, you risk losing more than you should or worse—being accused of trying to hide assets. A skilled Boca Raton divorce lawyer can advise you on how to fill out the form or, better yet, fill it out on your behalf. This is a time in your life in which even the most minor of mistakes can come back to haunt you. Avoid mistakes entirely and call Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, P.A., to speak with an attorney today.