What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine!
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
This is not an uncommon view of marital property. However, the general rule is that all assets that were accumulated during the marriage are equally owned and will be equally divided. A court will look dispassionately at the list of assets and place them in the column of one spouse or the other until the total of each is approximately equal.
On the other hand, spouses are much more likely to see these columns from a highly emotional place and will find it difficult to see some of those assets as joint or that it is unfair to equally apportion some items — especially if there was a disparity in income. But that’s not how the law sees it. This is a particularly difficult pill for some spouses when they learn that their 401(k) or other retirement plans fall into the same category.
If you’re considering divorce and don’t know what to expect financially, go ahead and take the concrete action of completing the Financial Affidavit form required by the courts. This will lay out your full financial picture, including your income, expenses, assets, and debts.
It’s essential to understand that this form will be the basis for working through the division of marital assets and liabilities, as well as the child support calculation.
Spend some time gathering the information and be sure to be complete. Anything less than full disclosure is not in compliance with Florida law, and it will frustrate the process more than you know. Feel free to prepare several drafts as you work through the details.
Once you’re in a divorce, your completed Financial Affidavit must be disclosed to your spouse. If you later find that something was inadvertently not disclosed, you have the opportunity to prepare an Amended Financial Affidavit. It is not uncommon to have forgotten about something.
When you choose Divorce Mediation, Financial Affidavits are still essential to work through the issues, whether it’s property division, who is liable for which debt, or support (alimony and/or child support).
If an agreement is reached through Divorce Mediation, the Financial Affidavits of both parties will be part of the Uncontested Divorce filing. We’re happy to help you complete the forms or answer any questions you may have.
*Adapted from James Joyce “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own.”