Financial Disclosures: How to share financial information during divorceĀ 

Helpful tips on how to navigate this process with care

  • Navigating the Delicate Process of Financial Disclosure with Integrity and Care
  • Timely Disclosure: Ensure financial details are shared within 60 days of filing your Petition or Response.
  • Document Preparation: Collect all necessary financial documents, including tax returns, income proofs, and asset statements.
  • Form Accuracy: Fill out the Declaration of Disclosure, Income and Expense Declaration, and Schedule of Assets and Debts carefully.
  • Honest Reporting: Provide complete and truthful information to avoid legal consequences.
  • Secure Handling: Keep a personal copy of all documents and have a third party deliver copies to your spouse.

Sharing financial information during a divorce or legal separation is a crucial step that requires both practicality and sensitivity. Here's a guide to help you navigate this process with care:

Before You Start

Take a moment to determine your deadline for sharing financial information:

  • If you initiated the divorce (you're the petitioner), aim to share within 60 days after filing your Petition.
  • If you responded to the divorce (you're the respondent), share within 60 days after filing the Response.

These guidelines apply whether you're pursuing a divorce or legal separation.

How to Share Your Financial Information

Gather Financial Documents

Start by collecting essential financial documents such as:

  • Tax returns from the past 2 years
  • Proof of income (like pay stubs) for the last 2 months
  • Documents showing your assets and liabilities, including mortgage statements, bank account statements, titles to property, credit card statements, and retirement account statements (pension, 401k, IRA).

You may need additional documents depending on your specific situation. Make copies of everything as you'll need to attach them to your forms.

Fill Out Forms

Once you've gathered all necessary documents, proceed to fill out three key forms:

  • Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-140): This form acts as a cover sheet for the information you'll share with your spouse. Be sure to sign it.
  • Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150): This form details your income and expenses. Attach proof of your income from the past two months.
  • Schedule of Assets and Debts (form FL-142) or Property Declaration (form FL-160): These forms outline what you own and owe. Attach copies of relevant documents. It's essential to understand the difference between community property and separate property.

Accuracy is paramount here. Omitting information or providing false details can have serious consequences, including loss of property and financial penalties.

Make Copies of Forms and Attachments

Prepare a copy of the completed forms and attachments for your spouse. Keep the original set for yourself in a secure location.

These copies are not filed in court but are crucial for transparency and communication during the divorce process.

Have Someone Mail a Copy to Your Spouse

Arrange for someone 18 or older (excluding yourself) to mail a copy of the disclosure documents to your spouse. Remember, these documents are not filed or mailed with the court; they are solely for your spouse's review.

What's Next?

After sharing financial information with your spouse, inform the court by filing another form.

Remember, this process requires attention to detail and open communication. Taking these steps conscientiously can contribute to a smoother divorce process for both parties involved.