When filing for a California divorce, there are a number of required steps to successfully complete the process. For example, in both contested and uncontested divorces, the petitioner must always complete a financial disclosure. However, both parties must complete the disclosure if the matter is settled by agreement or goes to trial. Thus, regardless of what type of divorce you’re involved in, a financial disclosure will be a necessary part of your proceedings. Read on to learn more about completing financial disclosures for a California divorce and what documentation you will need.
What are Financial Disclosures?
The two stages of the financial disclosure process in California divorces are the preliminary disclosures and the final disclosures. However, parties can mutually agree to waive the final disclosures.
In these disclosures, California law requires a comprehensive list of all assets and debts each party knows to exist. Depending on the issues involved in the case, parties may need to attach personal and financial documents to these disclosures. These documents may date back a year or more before the parties separated.
What You Need to List in Your Financial Disclosures
The following reference list will help couples divorcing in California quickly identify typical documentation they will need as they navigate the financial disclosure process:
- Personal and business (partnership, corporate, LLC, etc.) state and federal income tax returns for the past three to five years
- Proof of current income (including W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and recent pay stubs)
- Prenuptial agreement, if one exists
- Bank statements for open accounts and any accounts closed during the 12 months before separation
- Retirement account statements
- Stock portfolios and options
- Pension statements
- Credit card statements
- Any existing loan documents
- Proof of any other debt (tuition, medical bills, etc.)
- Life, health, automobile, and homeowners insurance policies
- Real property deeds for any property the spouses own individually or together as well as any properties owned by any entity that a spouse has an interest in
- A detailed list of personal property, including jewelry, home furnishings, artwork, electronic equipment, clothing, etc.
- A list of real property and assets each spouse owned before marriage
Preliminary and Financial Disclosure Forms
In addition to the above documents, couples undergoing a California divorce must complete and file the following legal forms in either the preliminary or final disclosure:
(1) Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL 142);
(2) Income and Expense Declaration (FL 150);
(3) Declaration of Disclosure (FL 140); and
(4) Declaration Regarding Service of Disclosure (FL 141)
Failure to provide accurate and complete disclosure can lead to court sanctions, an award of attorney fees to the other party, or the court setting aside the final judgment. Therefore, a person going through divorce in California must take care when completing financial disclosures. Both the preliminary and final disclosures they serve on the other party should be detailed and accurate and include all supporting documentation.
Get Professional Help with Your California Divorce Financial Disclosures
Clearly, the financial disclosure process can be very overwhelming. For professional help preparing the preliminary disclosure, final disclosure, or both in a California divorce, contact A People’s Choice at 800-747-2780. Our office has over 35 years experience completing financial disclosures for couples going through California divorce.