Financial Disclosures for Your Granite Bay Divorce

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Financial Disclosures for Your Granite Bay Divorce

When most people marry in Granite Bay, they envision a lifetime of happiness together. Unfortunately, many things can happen between a couple and to a family that can make this goal impossible to attain. After a time, many couples decide to end the marriage. When couples make this decision, California law requires a financial disclosure as part of the process. In fact, couples often need to provide several of these throughout the process.

When it comes to financial disclosures, many law firms will offer to prepare your financial disclosures, often for a very low rate. However equally as often those firms simply complete the paperwork for the financial disclosures without any corresponding advice, strategy, or consultation. There is far more involved with financial disclosures than simply completing the paperwork. We provide an in depth review of your financials, develop a disclosure strategy in close consultation with you and any financial professional you work with, and prepare all documents up to the point they are ready to submit to the Court. We offer this comprehensive approach to completing financial disclosures for a flat rate of $2,000.

A California Divorce Lawyer You Can Trust Call (916) 827-3427

What Financial Disclosures Are

As a community property state, California generally considers all assets and debts acquired during the marriage by either or both parties to be marital property. During divorce, both parties must complete their own disclosures regarding their share of these marital assets and debts. If you have only been married for a short period of time or kept all assets separate, then this could be easier for you than most other Granite Bay couples.

There are some very specific documents involved in the financial disclosure process that you may need to complete:

  • FL-140: Declaration of Disclosure
  • FL-142: Schedule of Assets and Debts
  • FL-150: Income and Expense Declaration
  • FL-141: Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure

Note that if either party fails to accurately disclose debts and assets, that individual commits perjury. Because of this, it’s important not to take this disclosure lightly or to let any professional convince you that “just covering the basics” is enough. This is especially important if you are a breadwinner or the higher-earning partner. You may face accusations of deliberately hiding assets even if you and your partner previously agreed not to include it in your disclosures.

What the General Process Is Like

Every divorce is different, and your experience with financial disclosures will vary based on whether you are the petitioner or respondent of the divorce. Generally the process starts with a preliminary disclosure where both parties identify the specific assets and debts. Both parties must also sign a declaration confirming the accuracy of the information submitted.
In all cases, the person petitioning for divorce must serve the respondent with the preliminary disclosure. In most cases, the court expects the respondent to issue a preliminary disclosure as well. However, there are some instances when the petitioner has the right to waive this requirement.

The Importance of Professional Financial Disclosures

Community property laws initially protected the rights of women. In the past in many households, women did not work and had very little knowledge of taxes, the finance system or how to handle wealth independently. This no longer represents the modern reality or the gender roles in most marriages. In fact, for some couples, the woman is the breadwinner. Some couples also consist of only women or only men.

Ensuring Fairness

Despite the changes in gender roles and a smaller gap in financial literacy between genders, California recognizes that many people still get cheated out of fair divorce settlements. This is because many spouses do not understand what their rights are or what counts as marital property. For instance, dependent spouses may allow the breadwinner to trick them into believing the house belongs only to the breadwinner because the mortgage and title were in one name and the breadwinner paid all the bills.

Offering Protection

There are also instances where breadwinners hold steadfastly to this belief thinking it is really true. They may not mean their partners harm, but financial harm nonetheless becomes possible. When people make complete financial disclosures, California reserves the right to intervene, especially when assessment of the assets affect child support payments. By choosing a professional and comprehensive approach, you help ensure the best possible financial outcome.

Discovering Falsehoods

Dependent spouses who fear that their exes may hide assets also can benefit from professional assistance when preparing financial disclosures. The professional working with you may begin to note discrepancies in the tax returns versus bank statements or other financial documents provided. It is one thing to accuse an ex of hiding assets without proof and another for our Granite Bay divorce attorney to present this evidence in court.

Settle Your Divorce Dispute Now Call (916) 827-3427

5 Frequently Asked Questions

Everyone has questions during a divorce. You are likely to stumble across issues that could benefit from a second pair of eyes or a second opinion. Because every divorce is different, we can only provide general answers to questions. For more specific answers that take into consideration your unique circumstances, reach out to our McCunn Law attorney today.

1. If we file uncontested, have a prenuptial agreement and/or agree not to do financial disclosures, can we skip this requirement?

It is a common belief that if you choose a specific type of divorce, you could manage to avoid the financial disclosure requirements altogether. Unfortunately, this notion is false. California makes financial disclosures mandatory for every divorce case, even if both parties agree that neither of them want to disclose their finances. However, there are some instances where you may receive the opportunity to waive some of the financial disclosure requirements.

2. Under what circumstances does California law allow me or my ex to waive financial disclosure requirements?

There are some instances when the respondent for a divorce case may try to stall the marriage by refusing to cooperate with the process or refusing to sign the divorce papers. California allows “divorce by default” to tackle these cases. When this happens, the petitioner still needs to submit a financial disclosure, but the respondent can choose to waive the respondent’s responsibility to do the same.

In cases where the divorced partner does respond with a financial disclosure, then both parties may agree to waive final financial disclosures. To do this, couples can create a marriage settlement that meets specific requirements. They can also complete the FL-44 form or a county variant to mutually agree to dispense with the need for final disclosures.

3. What do I do if my spouse is hiding assets?

When a member of a couple suspects that a divorce is underway or decides they want one, they often begin by gathering all the necessary financial and legal paperwork. Some people even do a bit of prying, such as checking already opened mail left in the study, reviewing bank statements, requesting tax returns from the IRS and reading emails after a spouse forgets to log out.

You may come to suspect your spouse has not disclosed his or her full assets and income. If you have proof, it is much easier to move things along favorably. In cases with no proof and where the spouse refuses to cooperate, talk with your McCunn Law attorney about seeking court orders or pursuing formal discovery.

4. What will the court do if I can prove my spouse or ex-spouse hid assets?

You may have the opportunity to go back to court to get your fair share and to even seek punitive damages. This holds true even if the court already finalized the divorce and you discovered the deceit after the fact.

Say, for instance, that a man receives a $100,000 bonus after a promotion from the finance manager of one branch in a company to the CEO position. He conceals this information from his wife and files for divorce without including the bonus in the financial disclosure.

The wife later discovers the bonus due to his bragging on social media and takes the matter to court. The court may not only decide to award the wife $50,000 as her half of the community property; it could even award her the full $100,000 to punish the husband.

5. Will I need to share my retirement account?

California is a community property state, so it treats almost all assets acquired in the marriage as marital property that belongs to both parties. There are very few exceptions, and retirement accounts are generally not one of them. Subsequently, if a spouse asks for a portion of the retirement account, he or she could very well become entitled to half.

That said, California does not necessarily require you to split each shared asset in half. It is more concerned with the sharing of the total value of the assets. Because of this, you may be able to persuade your spouse to accept something else in place of the account, such as the family house, cash payments, shares of profit in a business, investment property or stocks.

Contact a Granite Bay Attorney

Our family lawyer and the rest of the team are ready to review your case, produce a financial disclosure and offer advice and strategies, no matter how complex it is or how aggressive your spouse has become. We prepare the final disclosures right up to the point where they need to be presented in court. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or request a review of your case.

Why Choose McCunn Law

Our methods for handling business owner divorce and family law issues are unique. We offer legal assistance for a range of family law cases, including:

Mr. McCunn specializes in a holistic, project management approach which empowers you to make your own decisions throughout the process. He has a reputation as a peacemaker and his honest and pragmatic attitude towards divorce and other family law issues ensures you only pay for the services you need during your case.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.