As their divorce proceeded, Frank and Elizabeth had much to talk about – or rather, negotiate. During their 12-year marriage, they had accumulated property and debts together. However, each had also brought separate property in their marriage. A lot had changed in the past 12 years. Property discussions heated up as disagreements over how to classify their property erupted. Frank, Elizabeth, and their respective lawyers had to figure out when separate property is no longer separate before they could finalize their divorce. Continue reading
Angela was worried about the way her divorce was proceeding. Her husband’s financial disclosures seemed incomplete. She was reasonably sure that Dwight was hiding cryptocurrency assets from her but had no idea how to confirm her suspicions. Angela and her divorce lawyer may have a difficult job ahead of them. Continue reading
Some divorce cases run fairly smoothly from beginning to end. Other people may find that child custody, child support, property division, or spousal support issues complicate their divorce case. This is especially for affluent couples. In fact, high net worth divorces present unique problems to the parties and their lawyers. Continue reading
Over the years, Jack and Alicia both contributed to the success of Jack’s CPA firm. When they decided to divorce, the CPA practice became a point of contention in an already contentious situation. Just how much of the firm was Alicia entitled to receive in the divorce settlement? To figure this out, Jack, Alicia, and their attorneys needed to know how to value a professional practice.
Most divorces consist of several moving parts. Couples may have to deal with property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support. It’s the ‘money’ part of divorce that trips some people up. How much money does one spouse have to give the other for child support? Will one spouse have to pay spousal support to the other and, if so, how much? There’s one document produced during the divorce process that helps couples and their divorce lawyers work out those details: financial disclosures.
It’s easy to say that California is a community property state. However, the actual process of assigning property and debt is complicated, especially since people are more likely to think about dividing assets than dividing debts during a divorce. As an unhappy couple and their divorce lawyers sift through paperwork, they have to get the big picture of what the couple owes and who will pay.
Constant bickering and disagreements can lead a couple to turn to divorce. However, after filing the petition, the unhappy couple now have to resolve a lot of serious issues they couldn’t settle while they were married! If you and your spouse can’t agree on anything, be prepared. You still have to negotiate divorce issues to reach a settlement. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
Living together before marriage is more common than at any time in recent history. According to a Pew Research study, the number of people who have ever cohabited is higher than the number of people who have ever been married. Several major studies disagree on whether people who live together before marriage are more or less likely to divorce. If divorce does become a reality, cohabitation might affect your divorce settlement.
The typical divorce case involves many issues, including child custody, spousal support, and property division. Transparency is key to fairly resolving these issues, especially when it comes to dividing a couple’s marital assets and debts. In a community property state like California, debts and assets acquired after marriage usually belong to both parties. That’s why the preliminary financial disclosures are important – it’s hard to divide property when you don’t know it exists.
What are preliminary financial disclosures?
The divorce action starts when one person files a petition to dissolve the marriage. At the same time, or within 60 days, the petitioner serves the preliminary financial disclosures on the other party. If the other party responds to the petition, he or she must also serve preliminary financial disclosures on the petitioner.
Several documents make up the disclosure packet:
- Declaration of Disclosure,
- Income and Expense Declaration,
- Schedule or Assets and Debts OR a Property Declaration, and
- Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure.
Courts generally do not grant divorces if the parties have not submitted their financial disclosure forms.
What happens if the preliminary financial disclosures are wrong?
It’s entirely possible one party could omit assets from the disclosures accidentally. It’s also possible that the assets are being hidden to avoid sharing them with the other party.
If disclosures are incomplete or wrong, the simple answer is that the property will not be divided evenly. One party may not receive everything they deserve. The court may approve the property settlement without learning of the hidden property.
Accidental omissions on the preliminary financial disclosures may be easy to fix. However, deliberately concealing assets can lead to penalties. For example, a court may award 100% of a community property asset to the innocent party instead of only 50%.
Make Sure Your Property Is Disclosed and Divided Properly
Talk to an experienced California divorce attorney today. Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.Please call us at 415-293-8314 to discuss your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger assist clients with divorce matters in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.