HIDING ASSETS OR AVOIDING TO DISCLOSE ASSETS IN DIVORCE PROCESS, CAN I DO IT?
It is the policy of the State of California to preserve and protect community and quasi-community assets and liabilities that exist at the date of separation.
In order to promote this public policy, a full and accurate disclosure of all assets and liabilities must be made, regardless of the characterization as community or separate, together with a disclosure of all income and expenses of the parties.
Each party to a proceeding for dissolution of the marriage or legal separation is required by law to serve on the other party a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure. There are a few rare exceptions when this requirement can be viewed.
Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure consists of series of forms:
1. Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150);
2. Schedule of Assets and Debts (form FL-142) or Declaration of Community Property (form FL-160) and Declaration of Separate Property (form FL-160);
3. Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-140); and,
4. Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-141).
These forms can be found at:
Parties are required to serve the aforementioned forms on each other; upon service only one form needs to be filed with the court, Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-141).
These forms are extremely important and have to be completed properly because if not done correctly, you/your spouse can be subject to severe sanctions in the form of attorney’s fees and an award of an entire asset to the other party.
Additionally, along with the aforementioned forms you are required to provide your spouse with a copy of the following documents:
1. Paystubs/LESs for the last 2 months;
2. All current bank/financial statements confirming the value of your assets and debts (deeds, titles, bank statements, mortgage statements, promissory notes, insurance policies and etc.); and,
3. Tax returns for the last 2 years.
Deadlines for service of Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure:
1. The petitioner shall serve his/her Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure either concurrently with the petition for dissolution of the marriage or legal separation, or within 60 days of filing the petition.
2. The respondent shall serve his/her Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure either concurrently with the response to the petition, or within 60 days of filing the response.
3. The time periods may be extended by written agreement of the parties or by court order.
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