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Divorce: What Is A Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure?

In all divorce proceedings, there are a number of issues to be resolved before the process is

finalized. Some of the issues that may arise in a divorce proceeding include: awards of spousal support, awards of child support, the division of assets, and awards of attorneys fees.


The financial situations of each of the parties play a very important role when it comes to resolving these issues. For this reason, the California Family Code delineates the requirements each party must follow when disclosing their financial information.


Preliminary Disclosures

Preliminary disclosures are financial disclosures made at the beginning of a divorce proceeding. These Preliminary Disclosures provide an accurate and unambiguous overview of your monthly income and expenses. Preliminary disclosures also provide an overview of your separate and community assets and debts.


Preliminary disclosures are used to determine several case issues including a party’s need or

ability to pay spousal support, child support, and attorneys fees. These disclosures are also used on the issue of property division.


Because of the level of importance that preliminary disclosures have in determining case issues, each party is required to provide the other party with their own preliminary disclosures and these disclosures must be completed with honesty and accuracy.


When Are Preliminary Disclosures Made?

Pursuant to California Family Code § 2104(f), the Petitioner (person who filed for divorce) must

serve their preliminary disclosures on the other party within sixty (60) days after they filed for

divorce. The Respondent (person who did not file for divorce) must serve their preliminary

disclosures on the other party within sixty (60) days after they filed their response to the divorce.


How Are Preliminary Disclosures Made?

California Family Code § 2104(c) details the contents of preliminary disclosures. Preliminary

disclosures must include the following:


● A Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure;

○ A preliminary declaration of disclosure, or an FL-140 form, is used to indicate

that a party is providing all of the information necessary for a complete

preliminary declaration.


● A Schedule of Assets and Debts;

○ A schedule of assets and debts, or an FL-142 form, allows a party to identify all of

their assets, including, but not limited to: cars, jewelry, antiques, furniture, real

estate, appliances, art, boats, bank accounts, retirement and pensions, business

interests, etc.

○ A schedule of assets and debts, or an FL-142 form, also allows a party to identify

all of their outstanding debts.

○ Information provided on the schedule of assets and debts must be according to the

most updated information a party has reasonably available to them.


● An Income and Expense Declaration;

○ An income and expense declaration, or an FL-150 form, allows a party to detail

their monthly income and monthly expenses.

○ Information provided on the income and expense declaration must be according to

the most updated information a party has reasonably available to them.


● Tax Returns filed in the previous two (2) years prior to serving the preliminary

disclosures;


● A statement of all material facts and information regarding the valuation of all assets that

are community property or in which the community has an interest;


● A statement of all material facts and information regarding obligations for which the

community liable;


● 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.


After serving preliminary disclosures on the other party, a proof of service must be filed with the court, confirming that preliminary disclosures were served.


Failure To Serve Preliminary Disclosures

According to California Family Code § 2107, if a party fails to serve their preliminary

disclosures on the other party, or if a party serves a preliminary disclosure that fails to provide

sufficient information required, the party that has already served their preliminary disclosures

may file a motion with the court to compel the other party to comply with the preliminary

disclosure requirements.


Further, a failure to serve could lead to other penalties such as barring a non-complying party

from presenting evidence on issues that should have been disclosed in the preliminary

declarations, or monetary sanctions.


Navigating Your Preliminary Disclosures

Preliminary disclosures are an important part of any divorce and are required to be completed by both of the parties. This requirement ensures that the most accurate financial information of both parties is disclosed in order to make determinations on important case issues. This is a tedious process which involves collecting financial, property, and other important documents.


At Harris & McKeown, we understand that gathering all of the necessary information to

complete an honest and accurate preliminary disclosure can be long and frustrating. Harris &

McKeown Law Firm has been assisting clients throughout Orange County with their divorce and family law matters for over 10 years.


If you are currently navigating preliminary declarations of disclosure and wish to seek assistance from a Southern California family law attorney, schedule a consultation by visiting our website or calling (949) 297-6529.


**DISCLAIMER**

THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND THIS GUIDE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE READER AND ITS AUTHOR. IF YOU HAVE LEGAL QUESTIONS, CONSULT WITH A FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY.



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