A necessary step in any divorce proceeding is the service of the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure. Both sides must complete this step and let the court know that it has been completed. The preliminary Declaration of Disclosure is made up of two main documents: the Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150) and the Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142). I will address each form individually below:
INCOME AND EXPENSE DECLARATION
The Income and Expense Declaration or family law form FL-150 is made up of four pages and is required when child or spousal support is at issue. At least three of your last paycheck stubs must be attached to the back. On page one you must identify your last employer and how much you were making, the last time you filed your taxes, and how much you estimate the other party makes.
On page two you must list all your sources of income, and make sure to break it down by regular pay, overtime pay, and bonuses. On page three you must list your expenses. If there is a discrepancy between what you spend now and what you would like to be spending, then fill out and submit two different versions of page three (one should list your estimated expenses and one should list your proposed needs). On page four you must identify how many children you have and any special circumstances you want the court to consider.
SCHEDULE OF ASSETS AND DEBTS
The schedule of assets and debts is essentially a list of all your assets and debts. The most important thing to note is that you must attach statements. This includes mortgage statements, bank statements, credit card statements, retirement accounts, car titles, Kelley blue book values, Zillow.com values for real property, property deeds, and your tax returns for the last two years.
If there is a gap between the time you separated and the time you are preparing the declaration of disclosure, make sure you include statements from the time of separation and current statements. All assets and debts are divided at the time of separation, so that information will be needed.
Remember that the declaration of disclosure will come in handy at the time of the settlement conference or trial. It should be complete and have all the supporting documentation.
The preliminary declaration of disclosure should end up being a big packet of documents because of the attachments that are required. If in doubt, always opt for including an attachment. If the declaration of disclosure fails to include the attachments, then it will be considered incomplete.
Once you have your forms ready and the needed attachments, add the Declaration of Disclosure (FL-140) as a top sheet. The entire package should be mailed to opposing counsel via US post or personally served.
DECLARATION REGARDING SERVICE OF THE DECLARATION OF DISCLOSURE (FL-141)
Once you serve the declaration of disclosure on the opposing side, you can file the Declaration regarding service of the declaration of disclosure (FL-141). This is also a necessary step and the courts will require it before your judgment can be entered. The FL-141 is the only document that actually gets filed with the Court. Although the FL-150 should also be added if you have a hearing regarding child support, spousal support, sale of the family residence, or attorney fees.
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By Norma Nogueda, Esq.
The Law Offices Of Vincent W Davis And Associates