• Preparing Disclosures in a California Divorce

How to Comply With Financial Disclosures California Divorce Requirements 

Preparing financial disclosures in a California divorce requires great detail. Each party is required to identify and share with each other the marital estate’s assets and debts. If you need help in preparing disclosures in a California divorce, contact A People’s Choice. Read on to learn more about how to prepare the mandatory financial disclosures and which disclosures can be waived in a California divorce.

Mandatory Financial Disclosures California Divorce

California family law courts require mandatory declaration of disclosures to be exchanged between the parties in all divorce cases. The purpose of these mandatory disclosures is to make settlement negotiations easier to discuss because each party will have a clear understanding of the marital estate’s assets and debts. It is important that both parties fill out the forms correctly. The court may punish a party who fills out the form incorrectly. Furthermore, if the parties fail to exchange these mandatory disclosures, the court could have reason to set aside the Judgment.

What are Preliminary Financial Disclosures?

The petitioner and respondent are required to exchange the preliminary financial disclosures. The judge will not grant a judgment for divorce without preliminary financial disclosures being exchanged. The preliminary financial disclosures help the parties and the court identify the entire community estate. The preliminary declaration of disclosure is typically exchanged after the Respondent is served with the Summons of Petition at the start of the case. Preliminary financial disclosures consist of the following documents:

  1. Declaration of Disclosure FL – 140
  2. Schedule of Assets and Debts FL-142
  3. Income and Expense Declaration FL-150
  4. Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure FL-141

The preliminary disclosure requires each party to identify their assets and debts under penalty of perjury under the laws of California. By signing the declaration, each party confirms that he/she has disclosed to the other party all assets and debts known to him/her when the disclosure is executed. In addition, both parties are to confirm whether they know of any financial opportunities being presented to the marital community estate at the time of signing.

The Petitioner always has to serve their preliminary disclosures on the Respondent. If however, the Respondent has not appeared in the case, there is no marital settlement agreement and the case is proceeding as a true default case, the Petitioner can waive  Respondent’s preliminary disclosure.

What is the Final Disclosure in a Divorce?

Prior to a divorce being finalized, each party must exchange a final disclosure. If the respondent failed to file a response to the petition, or if both parties agree in writing to skip the final disclosure, then there is no need to file the final disclosure. The following forms must be updated as part of exchanging the final disclosure:

  1. Declaration of Disclosure FL – 140
  2. Schedule of Assets and Debts FL-142
  3. Income and Expense Declaration FL-150
  4. Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure FL-141

Can the Preliminary and Final Disclosures be Waived?

Preliminary disclosures cannot be waived, with one exception. A Petitioner is able to waive Respondent’s preliminary and final disclosures in a true default case.

A true default case is when Respondent makes no appearance in the case, does not file a response to the petition and does not sign a marital settlement agreement.

However, if Respondent did file a formal response to the petition and/or the parties are signing a marital settlement agreement, both parties can agree to waive final disclosures. The parties can agree (stipulate) to waive final disclosure by completing the Stipulation and Waiver of Final Disclosure, Form FL-144. Some counties have a local form for this waiver. For example, Ventura county uses their local form VN-131. In addition, if a marital settlement agreement is prepared, California Family Code, Section 2105(d) requires parties to include specific language in the settlement agreement filed with the court that acknowledges the parties mutual consent to waive the final declaration of disclosure.

You should hire a legal document assistant to prepare the forms for you to make sure they are filled out correctly. Contact A People’s Choice for more information about preparing disclosures in a California divorce case.

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By |2018-01-18T15:47:17+00:00October 27th, 2015|Family Law|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

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