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July 31, 2014

Florida Family Law and the Financial Affidavit

During the dissolution process, both parties will be required to complete and file a Family Law Financial Affidavit. There are two form affidavits that have been approved by the Florida Supreme Court: 1) a short form affidavit for a party earning less than $50,000 per year; and 2) a long form affidavit for a party earning more than $50,000 per year.

The Financial Affidavit (“Affidavit”) reflects a “snapshot in time,” meaning a picture that shows your current income and current expenses. The Affidavit is divided into four (4) sections, which are explained in more detail, below. It is important to remember that the amounts you list are calculated in monthly increments; for instance, if you pay your auto insurance quarterly, then you would annualize that and then divide that amount by 12 to come up with a monthly amount. Below are further explanations of the sections.

Section I: Income. This is YOUR income, not you and/or your spouse’s income. If you are unemployed, then this section will remain blank, with the exception of stating you are unemployed. You also list your monthly deductions to include taxes, and other applicable deductions in this section.

Section II: Expenses. This section is divided into several subsections to include: household; automobile; children common to both parties; children from another relationship, (not from this marriage or paternity action); insurance; other monthly expenses; and payments to creditors. These sections are explained in more detail below:

1. Household: These amounts are the expenses that provide information about the costs associated with running your household, and include the cost of your mortgage, electricity, lawn care, etc. for the marital home you share with your spouse. If you and your spouse share an expense, i.e. the mortgage, then state that that is a shared expense.

2. Automobile: Here you list the expenses you incur for YOUR automobile. If you are the sole income earner, then you will also include the expenses you are paying for your spouse’s vehicle.

3. Expenses for children common to both parties: List the amount you pay for each expense you incur for the children of the relationship. If you and your spouse share in an expense, then state that the expense is shared.

4. Expenses for children from another relationship: If you have a child from a prior relationship, then you would list those expenses in this section; the expenses would NOT be included in the section for expenses for children common to both parties.

5. Monthly insurance: Here you list your monthly insurance costs; however, if your health insurance is deducted from your paycheck, then that expense is listed under Section I and is not included in this subsection.

6. Other monthly expenses: This is the section where you include your PERSONAL expenses, i.e. clothing, grooming, pet expenses, etc. You do not include your spouse’s or your children’s expenses in this section; it is strictly for expenses related to you personally.

7. Payment to creditors: This section should include all monthly payments to credit card companies, personal loans, student loans or any other payments that you make that was not included in the above sections. You do NOT list your mortgage or your auto loan/lease payment in this section as they are listed under the household or automobile section, respectively.

Section III: Assets and Liabilities. This section is also divided into sub-sections, to include your assets (your home, car, bank and other financial accounts, boat, furnishings, collections, etc.) and liabilities (your mortgage(s), auto loan(s), promissory note(s), credit card account(s). When completing this section, and when you are estimating the value of your assets, you should include the KBB.com value for your auto, and garage sale value for any personal assets, i.e. furniture, collectibles, etc. There is another subsection that asks you to list any contingent assets and liabilities. These items may include possible assets, i.e. accrued vacation or sick leave, bonus inheritance, etc., and any possible debts, i.e. lawsuits, future unpaid taxes, tax liabilities, etc.

Section IV: Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. You will mark this section accordingly as to whether or not your dissolution or paternity action does/does not include children.

Links to the blank forms and instructions are listed below:

Short form:  http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/forms_rules/902b.pdf

Long form:  http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/forms_rules/902c.pdf

We believe your Financial Affidavit can be one of the most important documents in your case. We encourage you to take time to ensure it is accurate.

This article was co-written by Tyra Staltare.

© Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, PA, 2014. All rights reserved.

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About this Author

Rebecca Palmer, Family, Marital Attorney, Lowndes, law firm
Partner

Rebecca Palmer leads the Family & Marital Law practice. She has a broad background in providing alternative dispute resolution, general litigation, and collaborative law issues for domestic disputes for nineteen years. Rebecca's matters range from pre-marital agreements, divorce, and adoptions to difficult dissolutions, complex financial issues and custody cases. A Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, she is experienced in all methods of case resolution, including mediation, arbitration, facilitation and negotiations to serve individuals as well as businesses.

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