Declaration of Disclosure Requirement
What is a Declaration of Disclosure for Divorce in California?
A Declaration of Disclosure is generally a declaration of your finances in a California divorce. Specifically, the declaration is a form (California Judicial Council Form FL-140) required to be served in every divorce case, both contested and uncontested, in California. Form FL-140 requires attachment of a series of forms that outline your financial condition. All forms may be obtained on the court’s website. Disclosure is not filed with the court.
What is included in a Declaration of Disclosure for California Divorce?
1.Judicial Council Forms FL-142 (Schedule of Assets and Debts) or FL-160 (Community and Separate Property Declarations). These forms deal with characterization of the spouses’ assets;
2. Judicial Council Form FL- 150 Income and Expense Declaration. Form 150 requires information about the spouses’ employment and business income and living expenses;
3. Tax Returns filed in the previous two years prior to service of disclosure;
4. A statement of all material facts and information regarding valuation of all assets that are community property or in which the community has an interest;
5. A statement of all material facts and information regarding obligations for which the community is liable;
6. An accurate and complete written disclosure of any investment opportunity, business opportunity, or other income-producing opportunity presented since the date of separation that results from any investment, significant business, or other income producing opportunity from the date of marriage to the date of separation.
What are Preliminary and Final Disclosures for California Divorce?
A Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure is a disclosure due at the outset of a California Divorce case. It must be served within 60 days of filing the spouse’s divorce petition or served with the petition itself. Likewise, it must be served within 60 days of filing of the Response or served with the Response itself. Unfortunately, the parties may not agree to waive the preliminary disclosure.
In Summary Dissolution cases, the spouses must exchange preliminary disclosures, but final disclosures are not required.
A party’s Final Declaration of Disclosure is due 45 days prior to the assigned trial date. However, it can be waived by written agreement of the parties, which agreement must be filed in court.
When the petitioner seeks a default judgment for failure to respond to the petition, only the Petitioner needs to complete and serve a preliminary disclosure. A final disclosure is not required.
Especially when a case is uncontested, most spouses to a divorce are unaware or unprepared for the requirement of a Declaration of Disclosure. This requirement can be time-consuming and result in delay or sanctions in a routine case.