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.
What Are Financial Disclosures?
Generally, each party to the divorce must serve disclosure forms and copies of financial-related materials on the other party. California Family Code Section 2109 requires the “…full and accurate disclosure of all assets and liabilities in which one or both parties have or may have an interest…”
Full and complete financial disclosures aid in property division, child support awards, and spousal support awards.
When Are They Filed?
You don’t file the actual preliminary financial disclosures with the court. Instead, you serve both the preliminary and final declaration of disclosure only to the other party in most cases. After serving the Declaration of Disclosure, you then file a Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure with the court stating that you served the declaration..
The petitioner – the person filing for divorce — may serve the preliminary declaration of disclosure with the divorce petition. If not served then, the petition must file disclosures on the other party within 60 days of filing the divorce.
Respondents have 30 days to file a response to the divorce petition. He or she may serve disclosures on the petitioner at that time or within 60 days of filing a response.
What Information Should Be Included in Financial Disclosures?
There are only six questions on the Declaration of Disclosure. However, in addition to the declaration, you will also attach and serve:
- Schedule of Assets and Debts (Form FL-142) or a Property Declaration (form FL-160) for Community and Quasi-Community Property or Separate Property
- Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150)
- Tax returns filed by the party in the previous two years
- Statements regarding assets and debts that are both separate and community property and debts.
- Information regarding certain income-producing opportunities
It is imperative that you correctly prepare and serve the disclosures. If not, there is a possibility that your final Judgment is set aside. It’s best to have a divorce lawyer assist with filing for divorce and completing the financial disclosures.