Filing for a divorce in the State of California requires some specific documents. A "Preliminary Declaration of Disclosures" is required in the State of California before a Judge or a Commissioner granting a divorce. These documents are required and include Income and Expense Declarations (FL-150), A Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142), Declaration Regarding Service of Declarations, Declaration of Disclosure. Shelley VanRenselaar, a Paralegal (now referred to as a veteran legal document assistant), will give a "how-to" on the proper completion, filing, and service of the documents to finalize the divorce proceeding. The correct preparation and exchange for these documents is an integral part of the divorce proceedings. Each party is required to disclose their income, assets, debts (both community and separate), to the courts. Should either party omit an asset or debt they can be subject to serious legal consequences. For this reason, it's imperative that all of the documents are filled out completely in full detail.
Income And Expense Declaration
This document shows the courts and the opposing party and counsels the average income per month and the monthly expenses. It's required to be up-to-date and must include the previous two months of all pay statements. While the expenses don't have to be exact, it's imperative that the best possible ballpark figures be used for these documents. For those who are self-employed, they must include their most recent form Schedule K from tax returns. Ensure that these are properly filed with the courts and properly served to the other party and their counsel. It's allowed to redact the social security number and any sensitive identifiers that need not be on the public record. There must be two final copies, one for the court, and one for the other party. Keep in mind that in spite of the fact that this document is on public record, it's not that easy to access. Still, err on the side of caution and redact all personal information that you wouldn't want on public record.
Declaration Of Disclosure
This is a fairly easy and straightforward form. It indicates that you've completed your Schedule of Assets and debts as well as your personal Income and Expense Declaration and that you've sent this on to the opposing party. This document requires the attachment of your previous two years tax returns prior to being served. Keep a copy and a copy of all of the attachments for this document. You'll need to include these in your disclosure packet when sending it to the other party and their attorney. This isn't a document that is required to be filed with the court.
Schedule Of Assets And Debts
This is the most complex form set that must be filled out. This lays out all of your debts and assets that are both community property and separate. This document is very lengthy and requires a great deal of information. You'll have to fill it out in full and include all of the possible details to ensure that you're in compliance. Again, redact any sensitive information that you don't want the other party, their attorney, or public record to have. After filling out this document in full, make a copy to place in the disclosure packet. While this document will be exchanged, it's another document that isn't filed with the court.
Declaration Regarding Service Of Declaration Of Disclosure: Income And Expense Declaration
This is the final document that is required for the Divorce proceeding. While it's very lengthy, with a redundant name, it's actually a fairly easy document to fill out. Basically, all you have to do is check off the correct boxes on the form. This shows the court that the packets have been properly prepared After filling out this document, again, make two copies. One for court, and the other to send to the other counsel and party. It's also wise to keep a copy for your own records.
Now that everything is completely filled out and copies are made, it's time to serve and file the packet. One copy of every document needs to be either mailed or hand-delivered to the other party. The rest of the copies should go to the court for proper filing.
Congratulations, you've now completed all of your mandatory Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure Documents that are required to file for divorce in the State of California.