Am I Required to Disclose My Finances in My Family Law Case?

Rule 12.285, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, requires each party to a family law matter to disclose certain financial information to the other party.  Disclosure is strictly enforced in cases with money at issue, including child support, alimony, and equitable distribution or property division. Parties are required to follow Rule 12.285’s disclosure requirements in two ways: (i) providing a financial affidavit; and (ii) exchanging certain documents (also known as mandatory disclosure).

Financial Affidavit

The financial affidavit is a document on which a party identifies, among other information, his or her monthly income, monthly expenses, assets, and liabilities/debts.  The Florida Supreme Court has provided two forms for the financial affidavit: (i) Form 12.902(b) (also known as the “Short Form”) for those parties with an annual gross income of less than $50,000.00; and (ii) Form 12.902(c) (also known as the “Long Form”) for those parties with an annual gross income of $50,000.00 or more.  You may find both forms here.  Financial affidavits must be provided to the other party and filed with the clerk of the court.

Mandatory Disclosure

In addition to the financial affidavit, parties are required to exchange financial documents, including tax returns, checking and savings account statements, loan applications, and mortgage statements.  A list of the documents may be found both in Rule 12.285 and in Florida Supreme Court Approved Form 12.932, the certificate of compliance with mandatory disclosure.  Parties should note that a certificate of compliance must be filed with the clerk of the court.  You may find Form 12.932 here.

Exceptions to Financial Disclosure

Rule 12.285 lists certain exceptions where financial disclosure is not required, including in the following actions:  (i) adoption; (ii) simplified dissolution of marriage; (iii) enforcement; (iv) contempt; (v) injunctions for domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence; (vi) uncontested divorces when the respondent is served by publication and does not file an answer; and (vii) actions for attorneys’ fees, suit money, or costs, if the basis for the request is solely under section 57.105, Florida Statutes.

As understanding Rule 12.285 can be complicated, and issues related to disclosed financial documents and information are often crucial to the success or failure of a party’s case, it is highly recommended that you retain a Florida family law attorney to help you with disclosure.


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About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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4 Responses to Am I Required to Disclose My Finances in My Family Law Case?

  1. Pingback: Simplified Dissolution of Marriage | ABC Family Law Blog

  2. Pingback: What is a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage? | ABC Family Law Blog

  3. Pingback: Florida’s Equitable Distribution «

  4. Pingback: Tampa FL Bankruptcy Attorneys/ Foreclosure Defense Lawyers 2 |

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