What financial disclosures must be made in a San Diego divorce? Why is a full, transparent and accurate disclosure of all assets and debts by each party so important in a divorce?
Generally speaking, the Court must have a thorough understanding of all of each party’s individual and joint assets and debts as well as the income of each spouse and existing expenses. Financial disclosures must be made in a San Diego divorce at the outset of the process.
Why is it that accurate, truthful and full financial disclosures must be made in a San Diego divorce? California requires all assets and debts of a marriage to be equally divided between the two parties. That means that all property, assets, income and debts acquired by either or both party from the date of the marriage to the date of separation are to be divided equally (unless a valid prenuptial agreement specifies otherwise).
The financial disclosures by each party help to establish the community estate – the combination of all assets, debts, income, expenses experienced by the parties during their marriage.
It is important to note that each spouse has a powerful legal “duty” to each other until the divorce is finalized. This is known as a “fiduciary duty” which generally means each party must protect the other’s interest and conduct all mutual financial affairs with the genuine best interest of their soon-to-be former spouse in mind at all times.
Mistakes, omissions or any attempt to hide income, assets or the truth from the Court will result in serious consequences. Even a seemingly “honest mistake” will result in consequences which are harmful to your interests in a divorce. You may misunderstand the nature of property which you owned before the marriage, or the portion of a business interest which is considered to be community property.
Financial disclosures must be made in a San Diego divorce to ensure the Court is able to accurately and fairly divide all community assets and debts equally between the parties. Any attempt to mislead the Court will result in harsh consequences. There is a famous case where one of the spouse’s had a winning lottery ticket and hid it from his wife whom he wished to divorce. He sought and achieved a fast divorce so he could keep it all for himself. When his deeds came to light, the Judge didn’t just force him to divide it equally with his former wife. He ordered all of the lottery winnings to be given to the former wife due to the untruthful financial disclosures of the husband during the divorce.
This is why it is so important to work with the proven, experienced Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq. We help to evaluate all assets, debts, retirement accounts, business interests, investments and financial accounts to ensure a full, accurate and truthful disclosure. We will answer your questions to help you make accurate disclosures. If you believe your former spouse has not been entirely truthful or is attempting to hide money or the value of assets we can help to prove otherwise.