The divorce process can be complicated. You will need to file many documents with the court in order to successfully file for divorce and for the judge to grant it. One such document is called the preliminary financial disclosures. A judge will not grant your divorce unless and until the preliminary financial disclosures have been prepared and exchanged by the spouses.
The Importance of Filling Out the Disclosures
California law requires divorcing couples to prepare and exchange preliminary financial disclosures to help the parties, and if necessary, the court, to identify the entire community estate. California is a community property state, meaning everything, with few exceptions, acquired during marriage is community property and subject to equal division. As such, it is imperative that both you and your spouse, as well as the court, knows what type of property each spouse has at the time of the divorce. This will allow for a fair and much quicker division of the assets upon dissolution of the marriage.
Do Not Complete the Disclosures Falsely or Improperly
It is very important that both you and your spouse complete the preliminary financial disclosure forms. Negligent and willful omissions of assets and debts can lead to devastating results for both of you.
In order to properly complete these forms, you need to have a clear and deep understanding of community property laws in California. For example, if you don’t know that your spouse’s 401(k) plan is community property and you are entitled to half, you will negligently list it as separate property and miss out on half of what you are legally entitled to. Most people representing themselves in a divorce proceeding do not understand the fundamental principles of divorce law, resulting in an unfair one-sided settlement agreement. This is why it is important to hire an experienced divorce lawyer to help you.
Similarly, if you intentionally or willfully fail to list all of your assets and debts, it can result in serious consequences, such as an innocent party losing out on his or her share of community asset and the court punishing the guilty party.
You Need Legal Help
The bottom line is that the divorce process can be complicated. More specifically, although certain steps, such as completing preliminary financial disclosure forms, may seem simple and straightforward, they are filled with legal complexities. Just as you wouldn’t diagnose yourself if you have symptoms of a medical condition, you should not handle your own divorce process.
An experienced Central Valley divorce attorney can help protect your legal rights and ensure you get a fair result. A good attorney can also help make the divorce process less stressful and emotional for all parties involved, especially children.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are going through a divorce, planning on filing for divorce, or have any other family law related matter, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley divorce attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.