Final Declaration of Disclosure in a California Divorce
The final financial disclosures in a California divorce
Final Declaration of Disclosure Laws and Procedure
Welcome to our page on final declarations of disclosure.
Before spouses can enter into a final agreement, such as a stipulated judgment, that divides assets or addresses support issues, the spouses must exchange a final declaration of disclosure.
Under limited circumstances, the spouses may waive this requirement.
Learn more about final declarations of disclosure below.
Final Declaration of Disclosure
What is a final declaration of disclosure?
A final declaration of disclosure is similar to a preliminary declaration of disclosure and has the same forms except there are some additional disclosures the forms require for a final declaration. These are set forth in Family Code 2105.
The consequences of failing to exchange a final declaration of disclosure when that disclosure is not waived can be serious
At a minimum, the trial can be continued. At much worse, there could be significant monetary, issue or even evidentiary sanctions which would essentially torpedo the non-disclosing party's claims. Those who fail to complete disclosures as required by law or who provide incomplete or incorrect information on their disclosures play a dangerous game.
The law requires the exchange of final declarations of disclosure 45 days before the first trial date
If the divorce case is proceeding to a trial, the law requires the spouses to exchange this final declaration of disclosure no later than 45 days before the first assigned trial date. Notice the reference to the first assigned trial date.
The spouses may waive the exchange of a final declaration of disclosure
If the case is not going to trial and the spouses enter into a stipulated judgment, they have the option to waive the final declaration of disclosure by executing the proper form.
They may also waive it if the case is proceeding to trial, but this is often a very foolish thing to do. Even a waiver as a result of a settlement is sometimes a bad idea.
The waiver of a final declaration of disclosure requires certain representations by each spouse
California Family Code 2105(d) states, in part, the following regarding the waiver.
...The waiver shall include all of the following representations:
(1) Both parties have complied with Section 2104 and the preliminary declarations of disclosure have been completed and exchanged.
(2) Both parties have completed and exchanged a current income and expense declaration, that includes all material facts and information regarding that party’s earnings, accumulations, and expenses.
(3) Both parties have fully complied with Section 2102 and have fully augmented the preliminary declarations of disclosure, including disclosure of all material facts and information regarding the characterization of all assets and liabilities, the valuation of all assets that are contended to be community property or in which it is contended the community has an interest, and the amounts of all obligations that are contended to be community obligations or for which it is contended the community has liability.
(4) The waiver is knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily entered into by each of the parties.
(5) Each party understands that this waiver does not limit the legal disclosure obligations of the parties, but rather is a statement under penalty of perjury that those obligations have been fulfilled. Each party further understands that noncompliance with those obligations will result in the court setting aside the judgment.
FL-144 is the form often used for the waiver of a final declaration of disclosure
Want to learn more about disclosures?
Check out the links we provide below.