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What is Mandatory Disclosure in a Florida Divorce?


Discovery is a phase of many divorce cases in Florida and during this process, mandatory disclosure occurs. Mandatory disclosure refers to the fact that both spouses are required to give their financial records to the other side. Both parties are prohibited from lying or hiding information from each other during the divorce process. Hiding property can have very serious consequences. Below, one of our Tampa contested divorce attorneys explains mandatory disclosure in detail.

Mandatory Disclosure and Divorce 

Mandatory disclosure occurs when a divorce is filed. Both sides are required to provide important financial documents. The attorneys will review these documents when advising their clients as to the equitable distribution of marital property and debt. In Florida, there is a specific list of 16 financial items that must be disclosed. These include:

  • Bank account statements,
  • Pay stubs,
  • Debts,
  • Tax returns,
  • Retirement accounts,
  • Pension plan statements, and
  • More.

Under the rules of mandatory disclosure, both sides must provide these requested documents within 45 days of the divorce papers being filed with the court. The parties can ask for the deadline to be extended, but both sides must agree to it or a hearing must be scheduled. More time is sometimes necessary to gather certain documents from banks and financial institutions.  Also, the parties can agree to waive mandatory disclosure, so it is not really mandatory.  They parties cannot agree to waive the financial affidavit which is required in all cases.

Mandatory Disclosure and Interrogatories 

You have the right to ask your spouse specific questions regarding their financial situation during the discovery process. These questions are known as interrogatories. Your spouse must answer in writing within 30 days of receiving the questions. Interrogatories are official court documents and being dishonest can result in a charge of perjury.  However, only when there is a dispute that is not answered by mandatory disclosure would you request interrogatories.

Mandatory Disclosure and Request of Admissions 

You can ask your spouse to admit or deny specific facts in writing. This is known as a Request of Admission. For example, if you know your spouse had an affair, you can use a Request of Admission to ask your spouse if they spent marital funds on the affair. As with interrogatories, complete honesty is required when responding to a Request of Admissions. Lying in an answer could also result in a charge of perjury.

Mandatory Disclosure and the Florida Family Law Financial Affidavit

 The Florida Family Law Financial Affidavit is mandatory in all divorce cases. It cannot be waived during mandatory disclosure. The Florida Family Law Financial Affidavit outlines the income, assets, debts, and expenses of each side during divorce, including child-related costs, such as extracurricular activities or education expenses. This is an official court document and is required to determine the need for, and the amount, of child support and alimony.

Our Contested Divorce Attorneys in Tampa Can Help with Mandatory Disclosure 

Mandatory disclosure is a very important part of the discovery process during divorce if your divorce is contested. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa contested divorce attorneys can help you through the process, advise you of the necessary paperwork to collect, and handle the legal aspects, so this phase is as easy as possible for you. We will do as little discovery as necessary to keep costs down in an uncontested divorce or one with very few issues. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or email us to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys and to get the legal help you need.  Se habla Español.



All Family Law Group, P.A.
The law firm of All Family Law Group, P.A. provides legal services to the Florida cities including Tampa, Clearwater, Brandon, Riverview, Hyde Park, South Tampa, Ybor City, Northdale, Valrico, Gibsonton, Lithia, Mango, Palm River, Plant City, Seffner, Sun City Center, Wimauma, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Temple Terrace, Carrollwood, Northdale, Westchase, Citrus Park, Town N Country, Thonotosassa, Lutz, Fish Hawk, New Tampa, St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor, MacDill Air Force Base and all of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties. We will also represent DIVORCE clients in Polk, Hernando or Manatee Counties.

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