Frequently Asked Questions About Florida’s Family Law Financial Affidavit
Legally ending a marriage requires couples to divulge a wide range of information about their lives, including details about their finances. To make this process easier and to ensure that parties fully disclose their assets and debts, Florida law requires that all divorcing couples complete a financial affidavit. Leaving something off of a financial affidavit can have serious repercussions, so if you have decided to end your marriage and have questions about what you need to disclose to your spouse, it is important to consult with an experienced Fort Lauderdale property division lawyer who can advise you.
How are Financial Affidavits Used?
Financial affidavits are forms that actually look a lot like itemized tax returns, as they provide couples with the opportunity to list their income sources, including not only their gross salary and wages, but also any commissions or bonuses that they earn, as well as self-employment income or rental income. There is also a space on the form to list expenses, like monthly mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, household costs, vehicle expenses, and childcare costs.
Divorcing couples will also be required to list all of their assets, including cash, real estate, vehicles, investment accounts, retirement plans, jewelry, and collectibles, as well as debts, such as auto loans, credit card bills, and property loans. Importantly, the financial affidavits will also give the parties a chance to list which of their assets were obtained prior to marriage and which were acquired after the marriage. This in turn will largely dictate how that property will be divided upon the finalization of the divorce, as well as whether one of the parties will be required to pay alimony.
What is the Difference Between the Long and Short Form Affidavits?
As their names suggest, the difference between long and short form affidavits is the length of the paperwork and the level of detail involved. Long form affidavits are multi-page documents with a significant amount of detail about assets and debts. These forms must be completed by individuals who earn an annual gross income of at least $50,000. Couples who earn less than this amount, however, may only need to file the short form version.
When Should I File a Financial Affidavit?
Although couples aren’t actually required to file a completed and notarized affidavit with the court and with their spouse within 45 days of actually filing for divorce, most are strongly encouraged to file an affidavit with their divorce petition. To learn more about completing and filing your own financial affidavit, please call our office today.
Contact Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. for Legal Help
Even in relatively uncomplicated divorce cases, it is often necessary to complete a financial affidavit, which can be a difficult process. Contact experienced Fort Lauderdale property division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today to learn more about completing your own financial affidavit and engaging in property settlement negotiations with your spouse. You can also schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team by completing one of our online contact forms.