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Mandatory Disclosure Rule in Florida

Downtown Jacksonville

What is Mandatory Disclosure and How Does it Affect Divorce in Florida?

Divorces can be very rough, and with Florida’s Mandatory (Financial) Disclosure rule, it can become even harder when there are things that parties are not interested in disclosing.

In this blog post, we will briefly cover how important the disclosure of financial records is in a divorce. It is vital that you provide the required financial documents when working with your divorce attorney throughout the proceedings. In order to provide you with the best advice, your divorce attorney must know everything about your marriage. This includes your finances, both separate from and together with your spouse. Of course you’ll also discuss other reasons (likely more obvious disclosures) the divorce may be taking place, and all issues that need to be addressed. The financial disclosure allows your attorney to review and analyze documents that provide more insight and gives your attorney a better understanding of your entire divorce case.

When Mandatory Disclosure is Not Needed?

In some cases, Mandatory Disclosure is not needed during a divorce. This is only applicable when the case is not being litigated in court and both parties are in agreement with the divorce (considered an Uncontested Divorce). However, even though the financial disclosures can be waived or otherwise not required, both parties must still fill out and file a Financial Affidavit that discloses detailed financial information. Under no circumstances can the Financial Affidavits be waived for a divorce proceeding, even when both parties are on board with filing for a divorce.

Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure

Mandatory Disclosure is found under the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. This Rule lists sixteen types of financial documents that must be provided and exchanged by both parties.
These include:

· Bank account statements
· Tax returns
· Pay stubs
· Pension plan statement
· Assets
· Debts

And the list continues. When a person first files a divorce case, he or she has have 45 days to provide the other party with the required financial information. The other party must also provide the required financial information within a specified time period. Parties can ask for an extension if needed. In most cases, if the person has a legitimate reason for the delay, an extension will be granted by the court.

The Reasoning Behind Mandatory Disclosure

Aside from helping your lawyer to better handle your case, providing the financial disclosure documents can lower the expense that is often associated with litigation. It also gives the court sufficient information to make a better informed financial decision for both parties. Though Mandatory Disclosure can seem rather invasive and gathering the documents may take some time, it is really in the best interest of both parties going through a divorce.

Wendy Norman works as a Divorce Attorney in Jacksonville, FL and welcomes comments or questions from readers. Please Contact Us online to setup an initial consultation or call 904.306.9926.

8 responses on “Mandatory Disclosure Rule in Florida

  1. K Swann says:

    Can the mandatory disclosure paperwork/documents be sent via FED EX to my husbands attorney. ? I live 4 hours away.

  2. Kathy Paradise says:

    Thank you !!!!!!

  3. Heather says:

    My husband and I have agreed that we’re going to get divorced. He’s currently unemployed, but staying with his brother in Kansas, while I’m living with my mom and working a full-time job. Our 2 year anniversary is February 6th, 2019. He’s not interested in me being forced to give him any money. We’ve also agreed that what money we had, since it was due to my job, would be mine, along with the debt we added while we were married. If we sign the marital agreement, do we still need to file the Mandatory Disclosure? Since he’s in Kansas, I’ll be filing it as Uncontested since he’s not able to come back to Florida to appear for the final judgment. We don’t have any children or property.

  4. Heather says:

    My husband and I have agreed to get divorced, along with agreeing that what little money we had (due to my job) and the debt to PayPal Credit, will belong to me. He’s moved to Kansas and is staying with his brother. He’s currently unemployed. I’ll be filing it as Uncontested, since he’s unable to come back for the proceedings. If we file the Marital Settlement Agreement, do we still have to file the Mandatory Disclosure and the Financial Disclosures? Also, can he ask a Court Deputy Clerk in Kansas to witness his signature, in case he’s not able to find/afford a Notary Public there?

    • Wendy Norman says:

      Thank you for contacting Norman Law. The mandatory disclosure can be waived, but each of you will need to file a Financial Affidavit unless you qualify for a simplified divorce. This is a type of uncontested divorce, and all financial requirements can be waived by the parties. As to a deputy clerk versus a notary public, I do not believe that would be acceptable. If he has a bank account, as an account holder I would expect he would be able to have documents notarized for a minimal fee, if any.

  5. Vazquezana says:

    Hi
    My husband did not comply with the mandatory disclosure, two notifications were sent and more than 45 days passed, is the divorce dissolved?

    • Wendy Norman says:

      Ms. Vazquez,

      Thank you for contacting Norman Law. Usually, if one party does not comply with mandatory disclosure, the other party will file a motion requesting compliance or, in some instances, the Court will do so on its own initiative. The case will not be automatically dismissed. You may want to contact the Clerk’s office to find out the status of your case or schedule a consultation with an attorney to review everything with you.

      Wendy Norman

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