If you find yourself in Family Court, you will likely have to complete a Florida Financial Affidavit form. The Financial Affidavit is generally the most important document in your case. You cannot afford mistakes in your Affidavit, even if assets and debts aren’t contested issues.
First, gather all your account statements and request a credit report (the major reporting agencies will provide you a free credit report once a year). There may be debts you have forgotten about or that you don’t know about.
When you are calculating your expenses, payments to creditors, and income–remember there are 52 weeks in a year and 4.3 weeks in a month.
If you must estimate, indicate that fact. If you aren’t sure of the value of an asset or the amount of a debt, then don’t guess, indicate that you don’t know–then find out and file an updated Affidavit.
When valuing assets such as personal property, the important number is not what you paid for the asset, but what it is worth today. For example, a television set that you purchased ten years ago for $100.00 is not worth $100.00 today. Most assets depreciate over time.
When you calculate your expenses, use your account statements to determine the expenditure so that you don’t overestimate or underestimate. Keep those account statements because you will need them in order to comply with the provisions of Florida’s Mandatory Disclosure Rules (otherwise known as Rule 12.285 of the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure).
If there are material changes, you must file an updated Affidavit.