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.
· Bank account statements
· Tax returns
· Pay stubs
· Pension plan statement
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.