If you are proceeding through a divorce, you may have heard about a financial disclosure. These documents are an important aspect of the legal process. They make sure that each party is treated with fairness and transparency when it comes to dividing up assets and debts.
Along with that, they can assist with calculating child and spousal support. If you have been asked to provide this document or want to know more about it, here are a few points to consider regarding financial disclosures in a California divorce.
The Two Stages of Disclosure
Couples are required to give financial disclosures in a California divorce. There are two parts: the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure and the Final Declaration of Disclosure.
At the beginning of the process, both parties will submit a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure. This document often starts the process of negotiations.
Before the trial or reaching a settlement, the Final Declaration of Disclosure comes into play. This document provides a more precise view of the parties’ financial situations. Sometimes, the courts will allow both sides to waive this declaration.
No matter the type of disclosure, several documents must accompany it. They include:
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements
- Investment account statements
- Retirement account statements
- Real property information
Along with financial documents, each party must submit an Income and Expense Declaration form. With information on monthly income, expenses, and other financial details, the courts can:
- Calculate child support and spousal support
- Divide assets and debts
While these forms may seem like other documents in a divorce case, they play a pivotal role in helping couples reach a fair and amicable ending to the marriage.
How Do These Disclosures Help in the Divorce Process?
Since California is a community property state, any property or debts acquired throughout the marriage belong to both partners. However, assets acquired before marriage or after separation are considered separate property. As a result, they are not subject to division.
The commingling of funds and assets during the marriage can complicate the division process. In that situation, accurate financial disclosures help to separate the assets or debts in question.
Financial disclosures also assist with the calculation of financial obligations. The court uses the information provided to determine appropriate support amounts. Accurate financial disclosures make a fair determination for both child and spousal support.
Are There Penalties for Non-Disclosure?
All financial disclosures must be accurate and complete. If one party does not disclose certain income or assets, it can lead to serious legal problems. In some cases, the courts could levy monetary sanctions on the person.
Additionally, that individual will need to pay for the opposing party’s legal fees. All these penalties are tools to prevent dishonesty and maintain the integrity of the process.
Learn More About California’s Financial Disclosure Process
Financial disclosures in a California divorce help to create transparent and fair resolutions. These forms and other documentation directly impact property division, support calculations, and the overall outcome of the divorce. For this reason, you need an attorney who can help you accurately and thoroughly list your assets, income, and debts.
At Roberts & Zatlin Law Office, we are here to make sure you receive a fair settlement in your case. Our office in Temecula offers legal services to Menifee, Hemet, Sun City, Lake Elsinore, Winchester, Wildomar, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, Vista, San Diego, Inland Valley, and all other parts of the state. To schedule a consultation today and receive a free initial assessment of your case, please call (951) 381-8147 today.