Important points about asset and liability disclosures in divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2023 | Divorce |

Finances are a major issue in many California divorces, whether it is a high-asset case or one of more modest means. For people who have significant assets; however, there is likely to be more at stake. Often, people are unaware of precisely what their spouse owns.

There might be a belief that a married couple will be at least somewhat up to date on what the other person has in terms of bank accounts, stocks, investments and other property. That is not true. There is also the matter of what they owe. People are not always upfront about their financial circumstances—even with their spouse. The law addresses this as part of a family law case.

What does the law say about sharing financial information?

According to California law for disclosure of assets and liabilities, financial information must be provided within a specific timeframe. This is true whether they have an agreement to resolve property division and support or if the case will go to trial. It must be within 45 days of the initial trial date. It will include their income and expenses. The sides do have the right to waive the need to disclose this information.

As part of the disclosure, the sides must give all material facts of assets and liabilities. If they own a business by themselves, this would be an example of what they have, what it is worth and what they might owe to banks, vendors and more.

The valuation of assets and liabilities that might be community property with both having a right to share it as part of property division must also be fully disclosed. The information on earnings, expenses and accumulations that each party has must be given to the other side.

If there is a waiver of disclosure, both must agree to it voluntarily. There are times when one person might try to convince the other to waive their right to this information or outright coerce them. It is essential that people are protected and understand their rights. Waiving the requirement does not limit legal disclosure. In other words, the person must still meet their legal obligations.

Finances are a sticking point in many divorces and having help is key

Since these cases can be difficult, it is important to seek the type of legal guidance in which the attorney is experienced. That includes having relationships with professionals who are frequently part of complex divorces and financial experts who can help the sides come to a reasonable agreement to end the case amicably.

In Livermore and the surrounding areas, people tend to work in the tech industry, are legal professionals, medical professionals, professional athletes and have other well-paying jobs. This puts them in a position where their finances can be a topic of dispute in the case.

While it is beneficial to have a good relationship with the other person and this can smooth the process to complete the divorce and move on, that is not always possible. Even if the sides are on reasonably good terms, it is still wise to be aware of the law for disclosing assets and liabilities.

For these family law issues and anything else that comes up as part of a high-asset divorce, it is useful to have professional assistance that has worked extensively in these situations. A consultation can give guidance with how to proceed and to ensure that a person is fully protected from the outset of a case.


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