Tag: financial affidavit in Florida divorce

Do I have to File a Financial Affidavit in Florida Divorce Cases

Do I have to file a financial affidavit in Florida divorce cases

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.

Jonathan Jacobs is a Divorce Attorney In Clermont Florida, a Divorce Attorney in Orlando Florida, that offers divorce and paternity legal counsel for clients throughout Central Florida.

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Duty to Update Financial Affidavit in Florida

Pursuant to Florida Family Law Rule 12.285 (regulating Mandatory Disclosures in a divorce), both the petitioner and the respondent in a family law case (divorce, paternity, or otherwise) have a duty to supplement their financial disclosures. This duty may include updating your financial affidavit in Florida. The specific language of Rule 12.285(e)(1), “Duty to Supplement Disclosure; Amended Financial Affidavit,” provides that the: “Parties have a continuing duty to supplement documents described in this rule, including financial affidavits, whenever a material change in their financial status occurs.” There is often some debate over what a “material change in financial status” means. The Florida Legislature and the Family Law Courts do not to pinpoint a specific number because circumstances are different, litigants are different, incomes and careers vary, and judges rule slightly different depending on the evidence propounded and the circumstances of each case. Call Jacobs Law Firm at 407-335-8113.

Financial Affidavit in Florida

Financial Affidavit in Florida

It makes perfect sense that litigants in a family law case have a continuing duty to disclose fluctuations in their income. Often a party will lose his/her job during the proceedings, or one party may find better and higher paying employment. This happens frequently, and the proper way to account for these changes is by amending one’s financial affidavit to reflect their new financial projections/calculations/data/fiscal reality (phrase it however you like). For instance, if you are a family law litigant and you earn a promotion that comes with a pay raise amounting to thousands of dollars, your income has likely materially changed. You have a legal duty to inform the court of your change in circumstances.

Another reason there is a duty to update financial affidavit in Florida is the failure to do so could cost you money. If your income has gone down during the divorce proceeding, and you fail to inform the court, you may be forced to pay more in alimony or child support than you can afford. Alternatively, if your income has gone up materially, and you fail to notify the court, the other party may take you back to court soon after you have reached a marital settlement or a mediated settlement agreement. This could involve a supplemental petition that will compel additional court appearances and may require the help of a family law attorney. Choose carefully when you decide whether to keep the court apprised because the rules clearly state that you have a duty to update financial affidavit in Florida.

Attorney Jonathan Jacobs practices relocation with a minor child cases and same sex divorce cases in Florida. For help with your financial affidavit call us today for a consultation 407-335-8113.