If you’re pursuing a divorce in the state of California you might have heard the term “preliminary declaration of disclosure.” But what is it actually? Simply put, a preliminary declaration of disclosure is a series of documents with supporting attachments that disclose everything you own and owe or all assets and debts from each party.
A party has 60 days from the filing of either their Petition for Dissolution or Response to the Petition for Dissolution to complete and serve their preliminary declaration of disclosure. A third party must serve this paperwork, and then file the appropriate service of disclosure and proof of service with the court.
This deadline can be extended by written agreement of both parties or a court order.
Sound confusing? If you feel like your head is swimming with legal jargon you’re not alone. That’s why many spouses choose to work with an attorney during their divorce proceedings. Not only will an attorney be able to help you navigate this process and complete the necessary paperwork, but they will likely have templates of the required forms available to reference.
The Initial Financial Disclosures in a Divorce
There are specific financial disclosures that are required in order to pursue a California divorce. A preliminary declaration of disclosure often includes a schedule of assets and debts, an income and expense declaration, tax records, and financial statements to validate the parties’ claims among other items. Essentially, the parties are laying the groundwork for what marital assets exist to be divided and claims to separate property interests. Division of assets and debts can be one of the more taxing issues to resolve in a divorce proceeding.
Identifying which assets and debts are community, separate or a mixture of both is a key part of the process allowing the parties to identify where differences of opinion might lie. Therefore, if you’re unsure of how to classify an asset or debt or have other questions talk to your attorney. The preliminary declaration of disclosure must be completed accurately, as well as signed and dated, under penalty of perjury, and is of key importance in settling your divorce case.
Everything you need to know
The preliminary declaration of disclosure is just that — preliminary. As the process continues, both or one of the parties may need to provide additional discovery or update information. Attorneys have a variety of methods available to them to further investigate a party’s financial claims. Additional documentation and information can be requested or subpoenaed as necessary depending on the complexity of the case and its marital assets and debts. It’s important that once you decide to pursue a divorce, you do your best to collect all necessary financial documents and information to make these disclosures. Additionally, speaking with an attorney to do some general planning and have a better understanding of both preliminary disclosures, further discovery, and final disclosures can be key to a successful settlement.
Not sure how to get a preliminary declaration of disclosure in divorce, much less how to complete it? Don’t worry. At Buncher Family Law, our team of experienced attorneys and paralegals will guide you through the process. Our goal is to put a comprehensive plan together to assist each client in reaching their goals for their individual case. Contact us today to get started.