Financial affidavits are one of the most important aspects of a divorce in Florida. Except under very limited circumstances , each party must file with the court a notarized financial affidavit . A Financial affidavit states a parties’ financial condition. The main sections of a financial affidavit are the income section, the expense section, the asset section, and a debt section.
The income section is important for example to establish the appropriate child support amount. It also is relevant to whether someone has a need for financial assistance (ie alimony) or an ability to pay alimony. Income may also be considered in regard to someone’s ability to contribute to marital debts, and possibly with regard to the distribution of marital assets.
The expense section of a financial affidavit may also be relevant to alimony, concerning need for assistance and ability to pay alimony, and possibly with regard to distribution of debts and assets.
In a Florida divorce the asset section of a financial affidavit will be relevant to distribution of marital assets, and can be relevant to alimony and debt issues. And the debt section can be relevant to alimony and property issues.
It is thus extremely important that the financial affidavit be filled out carefully. A party will not necessarily be able to make a good deal for themselves if they don’t understand the financial condition of the other party.
One can of course get in a lot of trouble if they swear to a purposely false financial affidavit. And in fact a final judgment of dissolution of marriage in Florida can be set aside if there was a substantial intentional error in someone’s financial affidavit. This would include either an omission of assets or income for example, or a false statement regarding something in the financial affidavit.
Clearly a financial affidavit must be completed with great care given how important it is to a proper resolution of a divorce in Florida. And a party should certainly not sign a settlement agreement until they have seen the other parties financial affidavit, and otherwise know the other party’s financial condition. (because you could end up agreeing to receive less than you are entitled to ) And of course it may be necessary to investigate whether a party has accurately stated their financial condition in the affidavit.