Mandatory Disclosure is a procedure whereby financial information is automatically disclosed by the parties upon the filing of a divorce or other family law case. The procedure is mandated by Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.285. See http://phonl.com/fl_law/rules/famlawrules/famrul12285.htm. The purpose of Rule 12.285 is to ensure that each party will be fully informed about the financial circumstances of the other party prior to settlement of the case through mediation, negotiation or trial.
Rule 12.285 specifically requires the exchange of financial affidavits, and this exchange cannot be waived. Rule 12.285 also requires exchange of additional documents, including tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, deeds, vehicle titles, insurance policies, etc. However, the parties can agree to waive the exchange of these additional documents. If the parties agree to waive the exchange of mandatory disclosure documents (except the financial affidavit), a waiver of mandatory disclosure must be executed by the parties and filed with the Court.
Mandatory disclosure must be exchanged by the parties within 45 days after the case is served on the respondent. There is a continuing duty to update mandatory disclosure (including the financial affidavit) whenever there is a material change in a party’s financial circumstances, and a party may object to mandatory disclosure anytime up to 5 days before disclosure is due. To comply with mandatory disclosure, a party must certify by notarized signature that all of the records required are being disclosed to the other party.