Show Me the Money!

You may remember that famous line from the movie Jerry Maguire. That saying is also applicable in divorce proceedings, because spouses in a divorce are required to show the other spouse all of their sources of income and assets in a process known as financial discovery. So, “show me the money” is on target.

In a divorce case, parties are required to produce evidence as to their own income, assets and liabilities, and the value of each so that the court can fairly compute alimony, child support, and equitable distribution of assets. This information is presented to the court and to the opposing party in a process known as discovery. The information is sought and produced through interrogatories, requests to admit, requests for production of documents, depositions, and mandatory disclosure.

The process of mandatory disclosure is required in all Florida family law proceedings that involve any kind of financial relief, such as requests for child support or alimony. Both parties are required to provide the other party with all of the documents included in Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.285(e) including:

  • A financial affidavit
  • Tax returns for the past three years
  • Evidence of earned income for the past three months, such as pay stubs
  • Checking account statements for the past three months
  • Savings, money market, and certificate of deposit account statements for the past year

Even if you don’t have these documents in your possession, it is your duty to obtain a copy of them from the appropriate financial institution and produce them to the other side within 45 days of the service of the initial pleadings.

Divorce can be an overwhelming process, but your experienced Pinellas County divorce attorneys can assist you in complying with the mandatory disclosure requirements and all other aspects of the divorce process to get you on your way to a fresh start.

Info taken from Tampa Bay Magazine, “Your Right to Financial Discovery,” K. Dean Kantaras and Jennifer H. Cavill

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