How to Fill Out a Florida Supreme Court Family Law Financial Affidavit
By Jennifer Williams
The Florida Supreme Court family law financial affidavit is mandatory paperwork in all Florida divorces. Both spouses must complete one and deliver their completed forms to each other within 45 days of service of the initial divorce petition. There is a long form for gross annual incomes above $50,000, and a short form for $50,000 or less. If you are filling out the form without a lawyer's assistance, chances are you are using the short form, which presents your finances condensed into three sections.
Download Form 12.902 (b), Family Law Financial Affidavit (Short Form), from the Florida Supreme Court website. The form is also available in hard copy from Florida family law circuit court clerk's offices and the Office of Family Court Services in Florida's 4th Circuit. Online legal document providers are also a source of the form, although there is a fee for download from any commercial site.
Enter your monthly income in Section 1. Fill in a monthly amount for any listed income source applicable to you, such as wages, tips, commissions, bonuses, Social Security or unemployment compensation. If your income varies weekly or monthly, average your income by adding the amount of gross income listed on every pay stub received during the past month and dividing by the number of pay stubs used. Sharply varying income may require averaging the gross income provided over an entire year. Add all monthly amounts listed for your various income sources and enter the total as your total present monthly gross income.
Derive your net monthly income by subtracting deductions from monthly gross income. Fill in the amount of each listed deduction applicable to you, such as federal, state and local income tax, FICA or self-employment tax, union dues, health insurance and court-ordered child and spousal support. Add the deductions and enter the total in the space provided. Subtract total deductions from gross monthly income. Enter the result as your present net monthly income.
Gather all checkbook ledgers and online payment, mortgage, utility and credit card statements for the past year. List each expense category provided in Section 2 of the form on a separate sheet as its own column. These expense categories include household, automotive, insurance and payments to creditors. Review each line item on your source documents and enter each under the appropriate expense column. Do not enter any unusual or one-time expenses, such as family emergency travel expenses. Add each expense column and divide each total by 12 months. Enter each result on the appropriate expense line on the form.
List all your assets, including cash, investments, jewelry and household goods, at their fair market value in the spaces provided in section three. Determine the fair market value of an item by looking at the asking price of similar items in classified ads or second-hand stores. Exclude your spouse's separately owned property, which is property that was owned prior to marriage or was a gift or inheritance to your spouse alone.
Note all liabilities in the spaces provided. Liabilities include mortgages, auto loans and credit card account balances. Include the total amount owed on debts even if they are owed jointly by both you and your spouse. Exclude debts that are owed solely by your spouse.
Enter any contingent assets and liabilities in the spaces provided. Contingent assets are assets that may become a reality such as income potential, expected work bonuses, accrued sick and vacation leave and expected inheritance. Contingent liabilities are debts that may become reality in the future, such as future tax liability, possible lawsuits and assumed debts. Check the box next to each contingent asset and liability you want awarded to you in the final divorce decree.
The Florida family law financial affidavit is signed before a notary and is thus a sworn document. Any misleading or omitted financial information could result in charges of fraud and perjury against the individual swearing to, and signing, the affidavit.
An attorney for more than 18 years, Jennifer Williams has served the Florida Judiciary as supervising attorney for research and drafting, and as appointed special master. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Jacksonville University, law degree from NSU's Shepard-Broad Law Center and certificates in environmental law and Native American rights from Tulsa University Law.