Preliminary Declarations of Disclosures refer to exchanging your financial information with your (soon-to-be-ex) spouse during the divorce process. There are specific forms that need to be filled out entirely to meet this required obligation. Do you have to do them? YES! A divorce cannot be finalized in California if the Declarations of Disclosure have not been provided. These are statutorily required to be provided to the other party within 60 days of filing the Petition for Dissolution (for the Petitioner) or from filing the Response (for the Respondent).
What are the PDODs?
Now that it is clear that you have to do them, what do they consist of? The Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure are all financial documents that will show the community’s financial position. This includes all bank account statements for checking, savings, retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, investment accounts, and cash balances. It also provides title documents for real property, vehicles, and other personal property. Some trust documents may be included in the disclosures as well. You must also provide an inventory of any other personal property owned. Make note if you allege that it is community or separate property (more on characterizing property on a future date). ALL assets must be included. If an asset is not disclosed, the court may rule that the other party should keep the asset excluded from your PDODs.
The PDODs also require each party to provide all information on debts. This includes credit card statements, personal loan statements, student loans, mortgage statements, and vehicle statements. All debts must be included and disclosed as well.
Why are Preliminary Declarations of Disclosures Necessary?
The purpose behind what seems like a lot of information is that each party needs to be fully informed of the entire community estate to decide what will happen to each item upon divorce. Everything in the disclosures must be assigned to a specific party to conclude the divorce most efficiently. It provides a checklist to ensure that all financial items have a clear outcome. It is also most efficient to complete the disclosures before settlement negotiations start. When negotiating, each party should be fully informed of what is in the estate.
If you have questions about preparing your Preliminary Declarations of Disclosures for your San Diego Divorce or any other aspect of your divorce, call us today to schedule a consultation.