In this blog, I’ll discuss the required Disclosures for a divorce in Santa Clara County, also known as the Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure. In Santa Clara County, prior to finalizing your divorce, you and your spouse must complete your Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure. This means: complete and exchange your Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142) and your Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150). You must complete these forms even in divorce mediation. At Families First Mediation, we work closely with our couples so that completing these forms is straightforward and complete. I have provided you a link to these forms below.
On the Schedule of Assets and Debts more here, you list the assets you own and the debts you owe. You might value or list the assets as of the date of separation or today’s current date. List both your separate property and community property assets and debts. The Schedule of Assets and Debts is not filed with the court, but you do sign and submit a Judicial Council form with the court stating it has been done.
On your Income and Expense Declaration click link, you disclose your income on pages 1 and 2, and the expenses you pay on page 3. On page 4, you provide information related to any minor children as it relates to health insurance, medical expenses, child care, education, travel costs, and hardships. Of importance is paragraph 13 on page 3. This section asks you to list your monthly expenses. For your benefit, you might work on two versions. The first one might list your expenses while married. The second version you would list your expected expenses once you separate. This will help you determine whether you’ll be able to afford your lifestyle after divorce. For expenses that are irregular, average the entire cost over one year and divide by twelve, for the monthly amount.
Exchanging these forms with your spouse is very important. California law, which includes Santa Clara County, requires that spouses fully disclose all assets, whether community or separate, to one another. A failure to disclose can result in sanctions. When you finalize your divorce, you will sign Judicial Council forms stating you have fully complied with these rules. If a party fails to disclose material facts that impact the final agreement or court order, that portion of the agreement or court order might be unenforceable, and the party that failed to disclose those facts, subject to severe penalties. Although it can feel repetitive or cumbersome, take time to do your disclosures well. If you need assistance, reach out to a divorce professional for help.