In divorce cases in California, both parties are required to provide a set of forms and documents regarding their finances to the other side. These forms and documents are called a “Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure” or “Preliminary Disclosures” and are required in order to get a divorce in California.
California law requires that specific forms be completed and provided to the other party as part of the Preliminary Disclosures. These disclosures are not something that must be requested by either side, there is an automatic requirement that each party provide this information to the other. Complete and transparent disclosure of financial assets is required. The forms and documentation required in the Preliminary Disclosures include detailed information regarding a party’s assets, debts, income and expenses.
The purpose of the Preliminary Disclosures requirement is to facilitate the ultimate goal of resolving all issues completely between the two parties, including a fair division of assets. The only way to reach a fair division of the assets is if both parties are aware of all of the assets held by both parties either individually or together. The Preliminary Disclosures also ensure that all parties are aware of each other’s finances and can adequately determine child support or spousal support where applicable.
Preliminary Disclosures are not filed with the court, but are “served” on the other party, either in person or via mail, as part of the divorce proceedings. Preliminary Disclosures must be served by the Petitioner no later than 60 days after filing the Petition for Divorce and by the Respondent no later than 60 days after the Response is due.
The only document filed with the court related to the Preliminary Disclosures is a “Declaration of Service of Declaration of Disclosure” which advises that the disclosures have been served. In the event that any information changes after service of the initial disclosures, updated disclosure forms must be served on the other side and a new “Declaration of Service of Declaration of Disclosure” must be filed with the court.
California law takes the Preliminary Disclosure requirements very seriously. The failure to provide complete financial information to the other party in the disclosures can result in serious consequences including the award of a hidden asset to the other party or a court order to pay the other side’s attorneys’ fees.
Preliminary disclosures are just one of many complex requirements for obtaining a divorce in California. An experienced California divorce lawyer on your side will make sure that you get the assets that you deserve. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are highly knowledgeable and experienced with obtaining positive results for their clients. Call us today at (415) 293-8314 to find out more about how we can help.