The Financial Affidavit is a special document in the eyes of the Divorce Court. The Affidavit is supposed to reflect a detailed summary of all of the disclosure that is required to be turned over pursuant to Family law rules and Requests for additional disclosure. As an affidavit, the truth and accuracy of the detailed summarie is sworn to by the filing party.
Because the document is so important, a Notice of filing is filed reflected the date and time of the filing of the financial affidavit. And because the document is so important, your divorce attorney will help you prepare the Financial Affidavit to ensure its accuracy and reliability.
Budget Report + Balance Sheet = Financial Affidavit
While the Florida Divorce Financial Affidavit looks intimidating on first glance, it is nothing more than two common financial documents combined into one. The first half of the affidavit reflects the monthly Net Income of the party minus the expenses incurred by the party. This looks very similar to the Budget prepared by most American households.
The second half of the affidavit is th assets owned by the party minus the debts outstanding. This document looks very similar to what accountants call a balne sheet, and reflects the net worth of the parties.
It is common for a proper financial affidavit to reflect the budget of the party at the time of execution of the document, but reflect a balance sheet for the party(s) at a snapshop in time, often the date of filing. That is because in divorce Court, the court has to pick a valuation date for assets and debts. if the parties’ separate at or before the date of filing for divorce, a common used valuation date is the date of filing, and the Court will look to divide up assets and debts as of that date in time.
The Amended Financial Affidavit
As a parties’ case progresses towards trial or other litigation, the attorney will want his client to file an amended Financial Affidavit. One common reason is if the filing parties financial situation changes during the divorce, ( for example the parties’s separation happened after the first financial affidavit was filed). The rules of Mandatory Disclosure require a divorce litigant to amend his or her financial affidavit whenever a mater change in financial circumstances arises.
Another common reason is to create a “trial” financial affidavit that is as accurate, thorough, and detailed as possible. While the amount of financial documents exchanged during a divorce can be overwhelming, the Judge wants nothing more than to be able to utilzie one of the parties’ financial affidavits during Trial. Accordingly, a trial financial affidavit will often pinpoint the exact valuation date and source for all assets and debts, as well as pinpoint exact expenses (as opposed to estimates that are commonly used on the first financial affidavit).