Litigation, in which parties argue their cases before a judge, is only a small part of what happens in Florida’s family law courts. Courts deal with agreements as much as, or more than, they do with disagreements. One might not think of the words “agreement” and “divorce” as belonging together in the same sentence, but many aspects of divorce in Florida today resemble contractual agreements more than they resemble a situation in which one party wins and the other loses. For example, a parenting plan is a detailed custody agreement in which parents agree on parenting decisions, large and small, from which parent has the final say about non-emergency medical treatment for the children to decisions about drop-off and pick-up from one parent to another. Another detailed document used in Florida family law courts is the financial affidavit, which is used to determine division of property, rather than details of child custody. Here are some frequently asked questions about the family law financial affidavit in Florida.
Q: What is a Financial Affidavit, and How is it Used?
A: A financial affidavit looks a lot like an itemized tax return. It is a document on which couples in the process of divorce list their income sources and expenses, and where they classify their assets and liabilities as marital or non-marital property. The purpose of the document is to determine equitable distribution of property, including spousal support payments, if any. Couples with and without children must file a financial affidavit.
Q: What is the Difference Between the Long Form Affidavit and the Short Form Affidavit?
A: As their names suggest, the difference between the two affidavits is the length and level of detail. The long form affidavit is a multi-page document with much more detail. All divorces require a family law financial affidavit. If at least one spouse has an individual annual gross income of at least $50,000, the couple must file the long form affidavit.
Q: When Should You File the Financial Affidavit?
A: Ideally, you should file the affidavit of support with your petition for divorce. You must get the document notarized before you file it with the court. You must deliver a copy of the complete affidavit to your spouse within 45 days of filing for divorce.
Q: How Does Domestic Violence Affect the Financial Affidavit?
A: Even if there is domestic violence involved in a divorce case, the parties must still file a financial affidavit. The difference is that, if you have a protective order against your spouse because of domestic violence, you are not required to list your address on the financial affidavit. If this is the case, you must file a Petitioner’s Request for Confidential Filing of Address. In other words, you must disclose your address to the court, but not to your spouse.
Contact Alan Burton About Division of Property
Even in relatively uncomplicated divorce cases, it still helps to get a professional legal opinion. Contact Alan R. Burton in Boca Raton, Florida for advice about your family law financial affidavit.