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Family Code Section 2104 provides that all parties must exchange the preliminary declaration of disclosures. This includes the Fl-150 which is the Income and Expense Declaration, the Schedule of Assets and Debts which lists absolutely all asset and debts that you collectively possess or own with the other spouse. Even if you know of the spouse’s separate property you must list that as well. This is everything between the two of you.

The preliminary declaration of disclosures is a mandatory first step in the divorce proceedings. The courts have also enforced strict sanctions for the spouse that intentionally conceals the asset. The sanction is that the asset will be given in its entirety to the other side as it is a breach of fiduciary duty. The courts view the fiduciary duty between spouses as one of the highest and a breach thereof entails the most severe sanctions.

The Final Declaration of Disclosures must be exchanged before trial is set in the matter. This is the same process as the preliminary declaration of disclosures but it comes at a later time. You can waive the final declaration of disclosures but the court’s will not set a trial date in the matter without an exchange of the preliminary and/or a waiver of the final. The courts want to ensure that all assets and debts are out on the table to adjudicate before setting the matter for trial. Most clients in a divorce matter tell me that they do not have any assets and try to resist the process by claiming there is nothing to disclose. As a court clerk once told me, everyone has a lamp shade, so everyone whether you are divorce client represented or pro per litigant must go through this process. It is statutorily mandated.

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