Financial Disclosures in a Florida Divorce
Divorce exposes a lot more than your emotions. In a divorce, full financial disclosure on the part of both spouses is extremely important for a fair agreement to be reached or for a just court determination to be made regarding numerous issues. Financial disclosures affect determinations regarding property division, debt division, child support, alimony or spousal support, and possibly more. For this reason, the Family Law Rules and Procedures in Florida require that every divorcing couple submit certain documents for financial disclosure. Even if you are pursuing an uncontested divorce, a Florida court will require certain disclosure before it will approve any settlement agreements. Such disclosures may also be complicated to complete depending on your situation, and therefore seeking the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney is always wise.
As part of your divorce, you will have to prepare and submit a financial affidavit containing disclosures regarding the following:
- All sources of income
- All assets (including property, bank accounts, investments, business interests, and more)
- All debts and liabilities
- Your monthly living expenses
Many people are tempted to fudge information on their financial affidavits in order to make their financial picture appear bleaker. This may be in an attempt to limit obligations for child or spousal support or to win an award for greater child or spousal support. Being dishonest on these forms can get you into serious trouble with the court, however, and is not recommended.
In addition to the financial affidavit, you will be required to provide certain supporting documents within the first 45 days that prove your claims regarding your financial situation. These documents can include:
- Tax returns
- Pay statements
- Bank account statements
- Credit card statements
- Deeds and titles
- Retirement account statements
Your spouse will also have to submit all of these documents to you, and an attorney can review these documents for any signs that your spouse is being dishonest. There are numerous signs that your spouse may be attempting to hide assets, including suspicious transfers out of bank accounts, large purchases on credit cards, unexplained changes in income or commissions, and more. Additionally, many people may be tempted to inflate their monthly expenses in order to limit their amount of disposable income. A court may also ask for documents to prove the expenses that you or your spouse claimed, so inflating these expenses can also get you into trouble with the court.
Though completely exposing your financial information may be uncomfortable, complying with all financial disclosure requirements is always a good idea. Keeping credibility with a family court is highly important in every divorce case and failing to do so may lead to a court voiding any settlement agreements and even entering an unfavorable determination.
Alan R. Burton is an experienced divorce attorney committed to helping individuals in Boca Raton with every aspect of the divorce process. Mr. Burton understands Florida family laws and can assist you in receiving the best possible outcome in your divorce case. Please do not hesitate to call our office today at (954) 229-1660 for assistance with any type of family law issue today.
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