What is a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure

A preliminary declaration of disclosure is a form that is required for a California divorce. This form requires participation from both spouses seeking divorce. When completed, the document should list all community and separate property acquired within and outside of the marriage and owned by one of the spouses. Parties are also required to exchange income and expense declarations as a part of this process.

The preliminary declaration of disclosure should cover just about every item that is owned by you or your spouse. When spouses are dishonest on this form, it can lead to serious legal trouble. For example, if a spouse has a separate account that is not listed on the form and kept clandestine because it is used to fund affairs with others, this is illegal. The spouse should list each and every item that is owned and of value.

In California, individuals are required to submit their preliminary declarations of disclosure at the same time as the divorce petition or within 60 days of filing the divorce petition. The respondent spouse must also serve his or her own preliminary declaration of disclosure at the same time as the response to the divorce or within 60 days of filing that response. In some courts, the time periods may be extended by written agreement of the parties or by a court order, but this is only in rare situations.

When the spouses differ on what they consider to be separate property and community property, this can lead to serious court trials or other property division debates. This is why it is best to go through the preliminary declaration of disclosure with a lawyer on your side. You and your ex may need to compromise if you want to facilitate a fast divorce that isn't stuck in the midst of divorce and property division debates. Contact a Los Angeles divorce attorney at Claery & Hammond if you need help filling out this form!