Do I Have To Update Certain Documents Throughout My Divorce Proceedings?

Petition for divorce

In addition to the mandatory disclosure documents required in a divorce proceeding, you may be presented with Request for Production, Request for Admissions, or Interrogatories. With the great number of requests and production, you may inadvertently omit certain information over the course of your divorce, or information you previously provided may have changed. Therefore, it is important to know when you are required to update or supplement this information and the repercussions that result due to this neglect. If you have been confronted with this issue in your divorce action discuss this with your divorce attorney. Your attorney will guide you through this process and continually ask you the proper questions to encourage the update and disclosure of this required material.

Under Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, each party “has a continuing duty to supplement documents described in this rule, including financial affidavits, whenever a material change in their financial status occurs.” 12.285 Further, each party is required to supplement or amend their responses when they “obtain information or otherwise determine that the prior response or disclosure was incorrect when made [or]…although correct when made, is no longer materially true or complete.” Fla. R. Civ. Pro. 12.280 The documents covered by this rule include: Financial Affidavits, Mandatory Disclosures, Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, UCCJEA Affidavit, Interrogatories, and other discovery documents. Finally, these supplemental documents or responses must be filed and produced to the opposing party “as soon as possible after discovery of the incorrect information or change.”

Therefore, there are three instances in which a party must take action and supplement their responses during their divorce case: when a material change in their financial status occurs, when they discover that a prior response was inaccurate, or when they determine that a prior response is no longer accurate. Although the accuracy of a response is easily defined, the term of material change has been broadly interpreted in many courts; therefore, it is important to keep track of your documents and financial status to determine if there has been a change or fluctuation that rises to the effect of a material change. In prior cases, the court has found, bonuses, loss or gain of employment, promotion, sale of a property or assets, payoff of debts, or recent acquisition of an asset to be material changes requiring the party to supplement or amend their discovery responses.

Failure to supplement responses or to do so in a timely manner can result in a number of court sanctions and can significantly hinder your case. A great deal of divorce matters involve the financial status of each party, and the evidence provided through the discovery process. This includes items such as alimony awards, child support calculations, and equitable distribution. Therefore, it is in your best interest to keep up to date with these documents and responses throughout your divorce to ensure you are providing accurate information for the court to consider when making their final judgment.

When involved in a divorce proceeding, you are required to procedure a great number of documents during the discovery process. It is not uncommon for a document to inadvertently be omitted or for certain information provided to change. Therefore, keep your attorney up to date on your changes and ensure you comply with their requests regarding this information to protect you during this process.

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