How To Prepare a Financial Affidavit
When boiled down to its essence, preparing a financial affidavit is not tremendously complicated. Basically, it represents a statement of your assets, income, liabilities and expenses, the authenticity of which you have sworn to under oath. The Florida Supreme Court has set out the proper format for this type of affidavit, making the process that much simpler.
In divorce matters, both parties to the case are required to file and serve upon the other a financial affidavit of their own. Everyone, regardless of whether it is a matter involving alimony, child support must file a Financial Affidavit and copies of bank records, investment accounts, credit card accounts, taxes and other personal or business financial information. This is called Mandatory Disclosure.
Routine interrogatories and Requests to Produce documents in a divorce case may necessitate further details and documents to be revealed to the other side. These documents can be used to support evidence introduced to the court for temporary support hearings, a final hearing or other relief. Failure to file the demanded documents or answers is punishable by the Court.
Preparing A Financial Affidavit: What Are Your Requirements
Even though financial affidavits are mainstays of divorce cases, few people understand their exact reporting requirements. Reporting of things such as income, liabilities, assets and the like is usually pretty straightforward. Complications arise from invest income, bonus money and the self-employed. A poorly developed Financial Affidavit can cost a party dearly as the litigation continues and can cause child support or alimony to awarded in greater or lesser amounts than is proper. Expense numbers are used by skilled lawyers to help find hidden income and should also be filled out carefully so as to avoid mishaps. Child support is based on income, not expenses, however many times faulty reporting has come back to harm litigants.
Your report should be of your current income and expenses. If there are extenuating circumstances such as one time fluctuations or other issues, your attorney should know so that the materials and affidavits can be customized to reflect the reality of your financial picture.