A financial affidavit is a sworn statement made by a spouse going through a divorce that provides details on all the property the spouse owns, their income, their expenses and any marital debts they have.
Financial affidavits are sometimes necessary if it is suspected a spouse will try to hide assets or otherwise act unscrupulously during their divorce. But there are many sound, responsible reasons for executing one of these documents. In fact, courts in Florida will order both spouses to provide a financial affidavit before their divorce can be finalized.
Why are financial affidavits useful?
Financial affidavits are useful because they allow both spouses and the court to have a complete picture of all separate assets, marital assets and debts. This can allow a court to accurately calculate child support, ensure alimony is fair and ensure the fair division of marital assets and debts.
Calculating child support
Child support in Florida is calculated using a statutory formula. Both parents’ incomes, assets and debts are used in these calculations. A financial affidavit clarifies exactly what these numbers are.
Unlike child support, there is no statutory formula for calculating alimony in Florida. Alimony is determined by examining a variety of factors.
Some of these factors include each spouse’s current income, assets and debts. An accurate accounting of these numbers can help a court reach an alimony award that will benefit the receiving party without impoverishing the paying party.
Florida follows the “equitable division” of marital assets and debts in a divorce. This means that marital assets and debts will be divided between the spouses, with each spouse walking away with their fair share.
So, to know what is fair, courts need a complete picture of everything the spouses own together and owe as a couple. Without an accurate account of all marital assets and debts, it may be impossible to reach a fair division.
Financial affidavits provide essential information
Ultimately, courts in Florida require financial affidavits because they ensure that all decisions made in the divorce proceedings will be made with full knowledge of each spouse’s financial situation. This is necessary to ensure that decisions regarding money and assets in a divorce in Florida are fair.