Full disclosure of your financial information is mandatory.
Both you and your spouse are required by the Court to fully and accurately disclose all of your material assets, debts, income, projected expenses and any business or investment opportunities that arose during the marriage in a set of forms known as Declarations of Disclosure.
These forms are a required part of the divorce process in California and must be prepared by each spouse and served on the other. Working together tends to make the financial disclosure process more palatable and less overwhelming for couples dealing with the emotions of going through a divorce especially when one spouse has more financial knowledge than the other. At Financial Divorce Bay Area, we guide you and your spouse in compiling the necessary disclosure documentation and then prepare each of your Declarations of Disclosure in the format required by the Court.
California requires that you and your spouse each make two separate disclosures of your assets, liabilities, and financial condition. The preliminary Declarations of Disclosure are intended to be only general inventories of assets and liabilities. All assets and liabilities need to be listed but, unlike the “final” disclosure, property characterization and valuation details are not required.
The set of required Disclosure forms includes:
- Schedule of Assets and Debts (form FL-142) is the most complicated of the disclosures. It asks for a list all of your assets and debts, both community and separate, with their approximated valuation and required supporting documentation for each item. Redact all sensitive information and, once gathered, make a copy and place it with your Disclosure packet. This document does not get filed with the Court.
- Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150) communicates your average monthly income and reasonable estimated future expenses. Include at least your last 2 recent pay statements and the prior year’s final paystub or, if you are self-employed, your most recent Schedule C from your tax return. Once you have finalized the document, make two copies: you may or may not have to take one to Court for filing, but definitely must include one copy in your Disclosure packet that you will send to your spouse.
- Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-140) indicates that you have completed both your Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142) and Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150) providing a statement regarding all material facts and information concerning the value of all community property and joint debt and have sent them to your spouse. This form also requires an “accurate” and “complete” disclosure of all investment and business opportunities that arose during the marriage. Attach your last two years of tax returns and redact any sensitive information before you make a copy of this document and all attachments and include them in your Disclosure packet to send to your spouse. This document does not get filed with the Court.
- A proof of service (form FL-141) entitled Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure and Income and Expense Declaration tells the Court that you have prepared and served your mandatory Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure documents and form FL-335 is a proof of service by mail. Once you have filled out this document, you will make two copies of this document: one to take to Court and one to send to your spouse.
You and your spouse, under certain circumstances, have the option to waive the final Declarations of Disclosure by executing form FL-144.
Where to Begin?
If your financial picture is complicated, we at Financial Divorce Bay Area can assist you through a budget friendly divorce. Having accurate financial Declarations of Disclosure forms and knowing your post-divorce budget will give you the information and confidence you need to make decisions when evaluating your settlement options.
It’s what we do. We work with couples to prepare their disclosures and to understand their current finances and future needs so as to make the best decisions in divorce.
If you would like more information, we offer a no-charge half-hour consultation either by Zoom video-conferencing or by phone if you prefer: