Is There Financial Privacy Post-Divorce?

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Jeff NuckolsIs There Financial Privacy Post-Divorce?

By: Jeffrey R. Nuckols, Esq.

So you made it through a dissolution of marriage a few years back including filing a financial affidavit and maybe even the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Rule 12.285 mandatory disclosure. Well, at least at the time of your dissolution there were probably few if any aspects of your financial affairs that your then-spouse didn’t already know about.

Now, maybe a few years later, you need child support modified, or maybe your former spouse wants to have your child support obligation modified. Let’s assume there is a sound basis for a modification of the support obligation. (See, for example, Florida Statute 61.13(1)(a)(2). The statute provides for modification of child support “if there is a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties.”)

A few years may have passed since your dissolution, and your former spouse is probably no longer involved in your financial affairs other than your existing support obligation, and your financial affairs are nobody’s else’s business anyway, right? Not so fast. You might have to make up-to-date mandatory disclosures as described in Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Rule 12.285.

Before I describe the part of Rule 12.285, Rule 12.285(e), that folks might find the most uncomfortable, let me remind everyone that you should seek the advice of legal counsel to determine whether and to what extent Rule 12.285 applies to your particular circumstances.

Rule 12.285(e) is where I want to draw your attention. Section (e) applies even to a supplemental request for child support. Subsection (1) requires service of a financial affidavit. That’s not too surprising because we’re talking about modifying a support obligation here, and that involves the financial condition of both parties. But look at the other fifteen subsections of Rule 12.285(e). There you find things like three years of tax returns, loan applications, deeds, leases, brokerage account statements, and others. And you thought you were through with sharing your private financial information with your former spouse.

It appears that under some circumstances one might not have financial privacy from one’s former spouse. Note that Rule 12.285(e) applies to both parties, including the party seeking the modification.

Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice or as forming an attorney-client relationship. If you have any questions about your particular situation please do not hesitate to contact Jeffrey R. Nuckols at (321) 329-5449 ext. 2 for a free telephone consultation.

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