A financial affidavit is a document which both spouses are required to fill out during a Florida divorce, painting a complete picture of the family’s financial history and current financial situation. When you file for divorce in the Sunshine State, you have 45 days to complete a financial affidavit.
This document requires each spouse to fully disclose his/her income from all sources (e.g. income from job(s), retirement funds, pensions, Social Security, or disability), assets, liabilities, expenses (e.g. past history, future expenses, and interim expenses), and debts. Additionally, you are required to explain your monthly budget, such as food, clothing, gas, and other necessary items.
The financial affidavit will be used for, but not limited to, the following:
- Determining alimony – The financial affidavits of each spouse will be taken into considering when making the calculations for alimony payments.
- Determining child support – The financial affidavits of each spouse will be used to calculate the child support payments that you or your spouse must pay.
- Allocating debts – The court will use financial affidavits to determine which spouse will be responsible for which debts following the divorce.
- Protection – There are situations where a spouse may accuse another of lying about or hiding additional income or assets, especially when one is self-employed or has multiple sources of income. Filling out the financial affidavit as accurately and honestly as possible can offer protection against fraudulent accusations.
Filling out this document is often difficult and time-consuming, especially the sections related to monthly expenses. It is wise to review your bank account and credit card statement for the past year and add up how much you spend a year on each expense (e.g. your mortgage, utility bills, etc.) and divide that number by 12 to obtain the average amount.
Furthermore, if you have assets such a house or car, get them formally appraised since you will be required to list their approximate value to help determine equitable distribution. If you find this process to be quite arduous, you can seek professional assistance from a family law attorney or an accountant.
If you are interested in filing for divorce in Florida, contact our experienced family law attorney at The Virga Law Firm, P.A. today.