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Keeping Financial Information Confidential In Your Family Law Case

In consulting with prospective clients regarding a family law case, including a dissolution of marriage case, one question that is often asked by the person is if they need to file or disclose to the Court in the case their financial information. Understandably, many people are hesitant or reluctant to place with the Court file their financial holdings/assets, their liabilities, and their overall net worth, as such information upon the filing with the clerk of court in the case automatically becomes public record. For some time now in Florida, for certain ‘uncontested’ dissolution of marriage/divorce cases without minor or dependant children, or uncontested cases when the parties are not seeking any support (alimony) from the other spouse, the rules of family court procedure in Florida have allowed for the spouses to waive the requirement of having to file their family law financial affidavit. However, in divorce cases where there was minor child(ren) (and thereby child support obligations would need to be calculated), if alimony was being requested, and/or otherwise contested for those and other matters, Florida court rules required detailed financial affidavits to be filed by both spouses with the court and made part of the court file. The Florida Supreme Court issued a Court Order (with an effective date of November 1, 2023) that now allows for the parties to a divorce or family law case in our state to waive the filing of financial affidavits in the case if they jointly agree. The spouses can now sign and file with the Court what is referred to as a Joint Verified Waiver of Filing Financial Affidavits. The new rule of procedure does require that the spouses still complete and provide to the other spouse their completed financial affidavit as part of complete and fair financial disclosure; however, the parties now do not have to file such completed affidavits with the Court. In cases where the parties have minor child(ren), the new court rules does require that the parties file with the Court a Joint Affidavit of Income for Child Support, but is much more streamlined then what is required as part of the Family Law Financial Affidavits. At Rice Law Firm we handle all types of family law cases, and have for many years. If you would like to consult with an experienced divorce and family law lawyer on these issues and other matters, please give us a call at 386-310-0061.