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What are Mandatory Disclosures in a Divorce?

In a divorce or family law case, people are often concerned that their former spouse or significant other will not be entirely straightforward with their financial information. Through a procedure called mandatory disclosure, the state of Florida mandates that each party is fully informed about the other party’s financial situation.

In simple terms, a mandatory disclosure means that the financial information of both parties in a divorce or other family law case is required to be disclosed. It specifically requires that financial affidavits be exchanged, and this requirement is not able to be waived. Mandatory disclosures must be filed within 45 days of the case being served. They must also be continually updated whenever there is a substantial change in one of the party’s financial circumstances.

On top of the financial affidavit, there are additional documents required which help demonstrate the debts and assets of each party. These documents are furnished as a way to support the numerical figures on the affidavit. Some of these documents may not always be necessary and can potentially be waived if agreed upon by both parties.

Following are some of the documents obtained for mandatory disclosure:

• Checking and bank statements
• Tax returns
• Credit card statements
• Mortgage documents and/or deeds
• Vehicle titles
• Insurance policies

Again, each party must submit the financial affidavit. However, if each party agrees, many or all of the supporting documents may be able to be waived. This is possible when everyone involved is satisfied with the agreement and feels that everything has been fairly presented. In such cases, a Waiver of Mandatory Disclosures must be filed with the court.

The filing of the Waiver of Mandatory Disclosure does not necessarily guarantee that the supporting documents will not be required. It is up to the judge hearing the case to decide. He or she may want to look at the information in addition to the financial affidavit in order to conclude whether or not an agreement is legally fair to both parties.

In summary, the state does require you to file mandatory disclosures. At the very least, this will require a financial affidavit. In many cases, additional documents will also be required unless the waiver is deemed acceptable by the judge hearing your case. This is all done in an effort to treat each party as fairly as possible in divorce and family law cases.

If you are facing a divorce and have questions about mandatory disclosures or other family law issues, call the Jacksonville family law attorneys at Parker & DuFresne. Our Jacksonville family law experts will guide you through this difficult time. They can answer your questions and concerns and will ensure that you are treated fairly and that your rights are honored.

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