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.
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.
Can the mandatory disclosure paperwork/documents be sent via FED EX to my husbands attorney. ? I live 4 hours away.
Yes, the financial documents may be sent to the attorney by FedEx; however the Certificate of Compliance (without the documents) must be filed with the Clerk.
Thank you !!!!!!
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.
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?
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.
My husband did not comply with the mandatory disclosure, two notifications were sent and more than 45 days passed, is the divorce dissolved?
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, I’m trying to reply to a notice to produce and need to know how do I do that through the e-file court system so all papers can be logged.
Thank you for contacting Norman Law. You should file a notice indicating you are responding to the notice to produce, but do not file the actual documents you are producing. Those are emailed directly to the attorney or party who sent you the notice to produce. If you have additional questions, you may want to contact the Clerk’s office for more information.
I filled for dissolution of marriage with two minors. I submitted all my information, my husband has filled a counter petition, but he is not submitting his financial affidavit. What do I need to file with the court in order to make him submit his financial statements for me to see??
Thank you for contacting Norman Law. If your husband has not filed his financial affidavit timely and/or has not provided the other mandatory financial documents, you will need to file a Motion to Compel and set a hearing. The Judge or Magistrate will then order him to provide the missing documents with a specified period of time. You should be able to find a sample of the Motion on flcourts.org.
My husband and I are in the process of a divorce and he has refused to list a contingent vested asset on his financial affidavit. Is this legal?
Thank you for contacting Norman Law. Through the divorce process, both parties are required to provide financial documents, including a financial affidavit. If you believe your husband has failed to list an asset (contingent or otherwise) on his financial affidavit, you can and should list it on your financial affidavit. You should also request documentation from him regarding the asset in question and ultimately if he fails to provide the documentation, the Court may order him to do so and sanction him, as well. If you would like to discuss your case with one of our attorneys, please call our office to schedule your free consultation.
In a Mandatory Disclosure, do i have to provide bank statements that I have with my mother as i am her representative through SSI. We are on the same account.
Thank you for contacting Norman Law. Yes, you are required to produce bank statements for the account you share with your mother. The Rule states that you are to provide statements for all accounts held in your name individually, in your name jointly with another person, in your name as trustee or guardian for any other person, and/or in someone else’s name on your behalf. Should you have further questions or wish to discuss your case, please call us at 904.306.9926 to schedule your free consultation.