Completing your financial disclosures can seem daunting, but it is an important part of the divorce process. Here are three things you need to remember about financial disclosures in order to make sure that you complete them correctly and in a timely manner:
TIP #1: It’s Your Duty! You and your spouse have a duty to fully and accurately disclose all income, assets, liabilities and expenses to each other. The same rules governing fiduciary relationships apply to married couples, and your duty continues until the assets and liabilities have been divided by you and your spouse or by the Court. Furthermore, under Family Code Section 1100(e), upon request of your spouse, you must provide equal access to all information and records pertaining to the value of assets and debts.
TIP #2: There’s a Timeline! As the Petitioner, you must serve your spouse with your preliminary declaration of disclosure within sixty days of filing the petition. The Respondent has sixty days from the date he or she filed the response to serve you with his or her preliminary declaration of disclosure. That being said, you can agree to extend these timelines by written agreement or by court order.
TIP #3: Make Sure Your Disclosures are Current! One of the downsides of completing financial disclosures is the amount of time it takes to gather all the required information and supporting documents. But be careful how long you let yourself procrastinate – you have to make sure that your financial declaration is current. As defined by the California Rules of Court, rule 5.427d, “current” means completed within the past three months, provided no facts have changed.
So what’s the point of all this anyways? Why go through all this hassle and effort? Providing full disclosure and being cooperative to discovery requests benefits both you and your spouse. You have the opportunity to reduce the adversarial nature of divorce by working together to reach an agreement that works for both of you. Preparing financial disclosures can be challenging and time consuming. If you need assistance, please contact our offices.
Please note that this blog is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.