Revealing Assets and Income During Divorce
It is not uncommon for two spouses to decide to keep details about certain assets, liabilities, and income to themselves during their marriage. However, these individuals will still be required to disclose this information before their divorce can be finalized. Failing to make a full financial disclosure can have serious repercussions, including sanctions from the court and financial penalties, so if you have questions or concerns about what information you need to disclose upon initiating divorce proceedings, it is important to retain an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce mediation lawyer who can walk you through the disclosure process.
Mandatory Financial Disclosures in Florida
Couples who file for divorce in Florida must make a full financial disclosure to each other regarding:
- Liabilities; and
Under state law, all divorcing couples must provide each other with copies of documents related to these matters within 45 days of filing for divorce. This includes copies of tax returns, bank statements, deeds, and credit card bills, as well as a completed financial affidavit. If a couple shares children, then they will also be required to submit a child support guidelines worksheet, as well as additional information about childcare expenses.
Completing Financial Affidavits
The financial affidavit that divorcing couples are required to complete and submit is a sworn written statement that provides the court with a snapshot of the parties’ financial situations. The most important sections of these affidavits cover the parties’:
- Income, including their place of employment, gross income, and income from other sources, such as self-employment ventures and investments;
- Expenses, including the couple’s monthly costs of living, such as rent and mortgage payments, utility bills, insurance premiums, food, gas, transportation expenses, clothing, and childcare costs;
- Assets, including all of the items of value owned by the parties, such as real estate, vehicles, retirement and investment accounts, collectibles, personal possessions, and bank accounts; and
- Liabilities, including all marital and personal debts, such as car loans, mortgages, and school loans.
The proper completion of these sections requires the submission of supporting documentation, such as:
- Pay stubs;
- Tax returns;
- Loan applications;
- Brokerage statements;
- Pension plan and 401(k) documents;
- Insurance policy documentation;
- Bank account statements; and
- Title and deed documents.
Mandatory disclosures affect a number of important divorce-related decisions, including how marital assets are divided, child support awards, and whether one spouse is required to pay alimony, as these amounts are largely dictated by each party’s income and assets. Financial affidavits and supporting documentation are filed under oath, which means that divorcing parties who fail to account for certain assets and debts can face serious penalties, including being held in contempt of court, the loss of assets in the property division process, and the denial of alimony.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Mediation Attorney for Help with Your Case
Please call 954-945-7591 today to speak with dedicated divorce mediation lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. about Florida’s mandatory disclosure rules. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact us online at your earliest convenience.