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Financial Disclosures In Family Law


The idea of financial disclosures in a legal dispute is often as tedious and invasive as it sounds. Unfortunately, during a divorce, custody dispute, or paternity matter the state of Florida requires that numerous financial documents be turned over to the court during the case. The process can be long and laborious as family law attorneys spend countless hours dealing with financial disclosure matters and the issues they may present only to have a few of the documents ever admitted into evidence during the proceedings.

So Why Is This Necessary?

In the state of Florida, Rule of Family Procedure 12.285 requires certain financial documentation be turned over to the court when a family matter is filed. This means that the documents that are turned over will be given to the opposing side for review. The following pieces of documentation are typically required under Rule 12.285:

  • Three months of work payment records;
  • Three months of banking records;
  • Three years of income tax returns.

Often times additional financial documentation will be requested, however, these are the general items that may be requested. Under certain circumstances, you may be served with a “Request to Produce” which will mandate that you produce additional financial documentation. The documentation necessary to satisfy this request is often on a larger scale and a significantly more tedious process.

Can I Object To These Requests?

Many people have the very logical thought to question the necessity of these requests. The natural inclination is to be apprehensive to turn over sensitive personal information and in circumstances where the required documentation seems irrelevant to the matter at hand, things only seem worse.

The fact of the matter is that financial disclosures very seldom lead to a resolution in a family case. Ultimately the process feels time-consuming and like a large invasion of privacy. Unfortunately, there is no real way around these requests. Under Florida law, you will typically have to turn over the requested financial documentation, no matter how tedious the process may be. If you do not turn over the necessary documentation in a timely manner your court proceedings may be delayed, and in certain cases where the court believes you are not being forthcoming, you may receive sanctions.

Unfortunately, complying with these discovery requests is necessary. Ensuring that you have accurately and hastily fulfilled the seemingly unnecessary requests will ultimately serve in your best interest. Fortunately, the majority of the financial documentation you submit will typically not be submitted to the court as evidence. If you are being honest and forthcoming with your submissions no amount of time or additional documentation will ever hinder the progress of your case. In all instances, swift and accurate compliance also ensures that you will be in the right when you enter the courtroom.

Do You Need Help?

If you are in the midst of a divorce or other family matter it is wise that you contact an experienced attorney. These times can be challenging, and an attorney will be able to by your side and ensure that the resolution that fits your best interests are met. Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. is an aggressive attorney who can give you the guidance you need. Call or stop by her Fort Lauderdale office today to schedule a free consultation.



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