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How Does California Law Address Disclosure of Assets During Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney for disclosure of assets and liabilitiesThe divorce process can be complicated, especially as it pertains to the division of marital property. In a California divorce, couples are required to fully disclose their assets and liabilities. The state’s policies are based on preventing community property from dissipation prior to the divorce and ensuring that the shared estate is equitably divided between the two parties. Unfortunately, a spouse may look to hide or devalue assets during a divorce. If you are pursuing a divorce, you should speak to a qualified attorney regarding the disclosure of assets and liabilities.

Chapter 9 of the California Family Code defines the disclosure of assets and liabilities. 

Examining Disclosure of Assets and Liabilities 

In the state of California, community property is defined as assets or income earned or purchased during a marriage while the spouses are living together. It is important to note that anything acquired prior to the marriage, after the couple has separated, or given to one spouse specifically as a gift, is known as separate property. California state law only requires that community property be divided during divorce. 

Chapter 9 of the California Family Code describes how the disclosure of assets and liabilities should be handled during divorce. Section 2100 of the Family Code specifies that the state’s policy is to protect and preserve community assets as they are at the time of the separation, in order to facilitate equitable property division and accurate child support and spousal support determinations. 

California Family Code Section 2104 states that each party must serve the other with a preliminary declaration of disclosure that includes all assets or liabilities, whether they are community or separate assets. This disclosure must be provided within 60 days after filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. Both parties must also provide a declaration of income and expenses, as well as all tax returns filed within the previous two years. Failure to disclose assets and liabilities accurately can result in serious legal consequences. 

Violations of Disclosure Requirements

Spouses may attempt to hide or devalue assets in a number of ways as the divorce process is beginning. For example, a person may withdraw money from a joint bank account and deposit it into a secret account, they may falsify their true income, or they may fail to disclose investments or retirement accounts. According to California Family Code Section 2107, failure to meet disclosure requirements can result in the court imposing significant monetary sanctions. In addition, fraudulently filing a disclosure declaration can lead to felony criminal charges of perjury.  

Contact a Los Gatos, CA Asset Division Lawyer

Divorce can be a complicated process, and the requirements for disclosing assets and liabilities can sometimes be difficult to understand. To ensure that you fully comply with the laws and policies of the state of California, you should be sure to work with an experienced family law attorney. Attorney Benita Ventresca assists clients throughout the entirety of the divorce process, and she can ensure that you meet all legal requirements while helping you address any concerns about hidden assets. To schedule a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Los Gatos divorce attorney, call us today at 408-395-8822. 


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