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Exchange Information - "Disclosure" of What You Own and Owe (Step 5)

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California law requires that you and your spouse or partner give each other written information about what you own and what you owe. This is called "disclosure" – meaning the act of disclosing; revealing; making something known to the other person.

  • Disclosure is intended to make sure that you and your spouse or partner are aware of everything each of you own and owe. With this information you can divide your property and debts equally, and can make reasonable decisions about child and spousal or partner support.
  • If you leave anything out, either by mistake or on purpose, your property division may not be accepted by the court, and your case may be reopened or changed.

First, complete your "Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure."

There's no specific deadline by which you are to complete and serve your "Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure". However, it's helpful to do it soon after starting the case so you have the information you need to decide how to divide your assets and debts and to restructure your life.

NOTE: The Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure is NOT filed with the court.  Instead, each of you serves Opens new window the other with a copy of your disclosure forms.

Do your Preliminary Disclosure by filling out:

  • Declaration of Disclosure (Form FL-140) Opens new window
    See the instructions Opens new window for this form.
  • Schedule of Assets and Debts (Form FL-142) Opens new window
    See the instructions Opens new window for this form.
  • Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150) Opens new window
    See the instructions Opens new window for this form.
    Disclosure of investment opportunities since you separated, if any. (Write these out on a clean sheet of paper. There's no form for this.)
  • Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure
    (Form FL-141) Opens new window
    See the instructions Opens new window for this form.
NOTE: Both you and your spouse or partner are responsible for making sure that the financial information you give each other is current. Therefore, if changes occur or you get new information about what is owned or owed, you need to fill out and serve new Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure forms. This rule applies until your property is actually distributed by agreement or court order. For more information about the disclosure forms, click here.

"Service of Process" of Financial Forms

  • You need to make sure that your spouse or partner was given or sent a copy of all of your financial forms.
  • You keep your original disclosure forms.
  • Your spouse or partner will serve his or her Preliminary Disclosure on you.

File the "Declaration Regarding Service" with the court.

  • The only form filed with the court at this step is the "Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure" (Form FL-141) to show that you have had these
    forms served.
  • Mail or bring the signed "Declaration Regarding Service" form to the court to file. (Keep a copy for yourself.)
  • You can't serve your own forms. As with all service of process, another adult must mail or hand your spouse or partner a copy of these completed forms.

Next: Go to "How to Finish a Divorce Case: Options", click here.

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