Financial Disclosure and Divorce

Financial Disclosure and Divorce


Divorce can be a complex and emotionally taxing process, especially when it comes to the division of assets and finances. In Florida, as a divorce mediator, I’ve observed that a critical step in achieving a fair and amicable resolution is the process of financial disclosure. This article aims to guide you through the importance of financial disclosure in divorce mediation and how to approach it effectively.

Understanding Financial Disclosure

Financial disclosure involves the exchange of complete and accurate information about each party’s financial situation. This includes income, assets, debts, and expenses. In Florida, financial disclosure is not just encouraged but required under the law. The purpose is to ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of their financial standings, which is essential for negotiating a fair settlement.

The Legal Requirements

In Florida, the law mandates full disclosure of financial information in divorce cases. This includes completing a financial affidavit, which details your income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and other financial aspects. Failure to disclose finances accurately and fully can lead to legal consequences, including the dismissal of your case or sanctions by the court.

For years the invasive requirement that couples file financial affidavits, that become public – and thus a possible feeder to identity thieves – has troubled me. This is especially relevant for clients who do not file until all paperwork is complete.

In certain Florida family law matters, effective 11/1/2023, new Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.285(c)(2) allows parties to waive filing financial affidavits with the court; they must still exchange them.

Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.285(c)(2), effective November 1, 2023

(2) Upon agreement of the parties and filing of a notice of joint verified waiver of filing financial affidavits, the court shall not require that financial affidavits be filed. In the notice, both parties must acknowledge:

(A) that evidence of their current or past financial circumstances may be necessary for future court proceedings;

(B) they each have provided the other with a fully executed and sworn financial affidavit in conformity with Florida Family Law Form 12.902(b) or 12.902(c), as applicable;

(C) that the responsibility to retain copies of all affidavits exchanged rests solely with the parties;

(D) that the waiver only applies to the current filing and does not automatically apply to any future filings; and at any time.

(E) that the waiver may be revoked by either party.

This new rule only applies to people who have completed their marital settlement agreements, parenting plan and all of their other documents and can file for an uncontested divorce. If they still need mediation they would have to file financial affidavits.

It is really important to impress upon the parties to keep those documents around. Divorcing parties will have to be able to produce those financial affidavits in the future if there’s ever a modification action, where the underlying basis of the modification request has to do with the significant change in either parties income or expenses.

Best Practices for Financial Disclosure:

The Role of Mediation in Financial Disclosure

As a divorce mediator, my role is to facilitate open and honest communication between both parties. During mediation, I encourage clients to be transparent about their financial situations. This transparency is crucial for building trust and leads to more effective negotiations. We discuss the importance of disclosing all relevant financial information and the potential consequences of withholding information.

Best Practices for Financial Disclosure

Be thorough: List all assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. Don’t omit small accounts or debts, as they can be important in the overall picture.

Organize your documents: Prepare and organize financial documents such as tax returns, bank statements, loan documents, and investment reports. This preparation makes the mediation process smoother.

Understand your finances: It’s important to have a clear understanding of your financial situation. If necessary, consult with a financial advisor or accountant before the mediation.

Be honest: Honesty is key in mediation. Full disclosure not only complies with legal requirements but also builds a foundation for a respectful and cooperative negotiation process.

The Impact of Financial Disclosure on Mediation Outcomes

Complete and honest financial disclosure can significantly impact the outcomes of divorce mediation. It leads to fairer settlements and reduces the likelihood of post-divorce disputes over finances. It also helps in preserving a cordial relationship between the parties, which is especially important if children are involved.

For years the invasive requirement that couples file financial affidavits, that become public



Financial disclosure is a fundamental aspect of the divorce mediation process in Florida. By understanding its importance and adhering to best practices, couples can navigate their divorce more amicably and efficiently. As a mediator, I strive to guide my clients through this process with empathy and professionalism, ensuring that both parties feel heard and respected in their financial concerns. Remember, the goal of mediation is not just to end a marriage, but to lay the groundwork for a stable, post-divorce future.

If you or someone you know is looking to divorce, please consider mediation and reach out to South Florida Mediation services at 561-789-0710 to see if mediation is appropriate for you.