Do I have to file a financial affidavit in Florida divorce cases? In Daniel v. Daniel, 922 So.2d 1041 (4th DCA 2006), the District Court heard arguments from the Husband’s attorney regarding whether requiring him to fill out a financial affidavit violated his right to privacy. This was a complicated divorce, not a simplified dissolution of marriage case. The case involved a marriage of sixteen years, which is a moderate term marriage, and borderline long-term marriage. The spouses had no antenuptial (prenuptial) agreement, the Wife’s petition requested permanent financial relief (permanent alimony), and the Wife objected to Husband’s attempt to avoid filing financial affidavit. A majority of Florida family law courts require both litigants to complete a financial affidavit. For more information, please call our office at 407-335-8113.
It is important to note that in almost every divorce case, a financial affidavit is a basic requirement under mandatory disclosures. The only circumstance wherein a party, or both parties, may avoid providing the court with a financial affidavit is where there is a simplified dissolution of marriage wherein there is little or no property distribution and there is are no minor children at issue. Most courts mandate the marital settlement agreement and financial affidavits must be filed despite the wishes/request of the parties. Now, back to Daniel v. Daniel, and our original question, do I have to file a financial affidavit in Florida divorce cases?
Financial Affidavit in Florida Divorce Cases
In Daniel, the Court decided that a Husband must file his financial affidavit in non-simplified dissolution and further ruled that such a discovery request did not violate the husband’s right to privacy. The Court’s reasoning was that a financial affidavit is essential when the Court is trying to do justice and equity in a Florida divorce case. The Court will likely hear arguments from both sides concerning property divisions, alimony, and a final decree may turn on financial condition of parties. The Court decided that any Florida family law court could not do right thing without sufficient information about parties’ finances. Family Law Rules of Proc. Rule 12.285(d). When you ask yourself, do I have to file a financial affidavit in Florida divorce cases, consider the Court’s decision in Daniel, and engage in best practices for openness and judicial equity. A motion to compel may follow a refusal to provide mandatory disclosure.