What is a declaration of disclosure?
A Declaration of Disclosure provides a spouse with a complete and accurate disclosure of all assets and liabilities you have. The Declaration of Disclosure includes:
- A Schedule of Assets and Debts form
- An Income and Expense Declaration form
- Your previous two years’ tax returns,
- A statement regarding the value of all property gained during the marriage,
- A statement regarding all property that was not gained during marriage,
- Information on any investment or business opportunities made after separation that was the result of investments or business created during the marriage.
Do I have to fill out a declaration of disclosure?
In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, California law requires that parties exchange a general inventory of all assets and liabilities they may have. California requires a declaration of disclosure for many policy reasons including to avoid dissipation of the community estate before distributions, to ensure fair and sufficient child and spousal support and of course to facilitate the division of community assets.
How and when do I exchange a declaration of disclosure?
There are two types of disclosures required by the State of California, a preliminary disclosure and a final disclosure. The exchange of preliminary declarations is an interim step toward the requisite exchange of more comprehensive final declarations of disclosure before a marital settlement agreement can be reached or entry of the ultimate judgment.
The preliminary disclosure must be exchanged at the time of the service of the petition for dissolution or any time during the pendency of the action. Characterization and valuation details are not required in a preliminary disclosure.
In a final disclosure, characterization and valuation details are required. Like the preliminary declaration requirement, service of final declarations is mandatory.
Further, both spouses have a continuing duty to immediately, fully and accurately update and augment their disclosures when any changes may occur.
Will my assets and liabilities become public record?
The extensive disclosures required by California law could reveal private information which, if filed with the court, would become a public record. The threat of public access might discourage full and truthful disclosures; therefore the preliminary and final declarations are not filed with the court and will not become public record. However, while the declarations of disclosure themselves are not filed with the court, each party must file proof of service of each of the required declarations; and likewise, as to any amended declaration of disclosure.
If you are considering dissolution or separation and need help preparing a declaration of disclosure, please contact one of the experienced attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri.
Please remember that each individual situation is unique, and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may detail general legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.