If you thought that getting a divorce in California could be just as easy as getting married, you may have to think again. California family courts require each spouse to make sure they disclose to one another any and all debts or properties each has during the divorce process. So each spouse will be required to fill out many of the financial forms, declarations concerning income and expenses, and disclosures of assets and debts as required by the California Judicial Council.
Why is disclosure so important? Well, certain answers can be found in the California Family Code. Family Code Section 721 states that "spouses are subject to the general rules governing fiduciary relationships that control the actions of persons occupying confidential relations with each other. This confidential relationship imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse, and neither shall take any unfair advantage of the other". In addition to the concept of "fiduciary relationship". the California legislature has also stressed the importance of protection of assets and a fair division of any debts involved in a marriage such that, assets in particular, are not disposed of by any spouse taking unfair advantage of the other prior to any orders for child support or spousal support. In California Family Code Section 2100(c), it states that " a full and accurate disclosure of all assets and liabilities in which one or both parties have or may have an interest must be made in the early stages of a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation of the parties, regardless of the characterization as community or separte, together with a disclosure of all income and expenses of the parties."
As you can see, Calfornia law requires spouses to disclose their assets and debts, their income from all sources and expenses, and by doing so, the spouses can fairly divide such assets or debts, fairly assign such assets or debts to the other spouse upon settlement or conclusion of a divorce case, and receive fair orders concerning child or spousal support orders depending upon the circumstances of a case.
When a spouse refuses to disclose, there can be legal consequences such as ssnctions, awards for attorney fees, or contempt orders. The forms and declarations involved in a divorce or legal separation case in California can be overwhelming. However, when property disclosures and financial declarations are done correctly, a spouse can be comfortably assured that he or she is not being unfairly treated or taken advantage of by the other spouse.
The Gonzalez Law Firm is located in the cities of Fullerton and Santa Ana, and has helped many individuals receive fair treatment and outcomes in divorce, child custody, property division, child support and spousal support cases. Call 877-345-2997 to schedule a consultation with Attorney David Gonzalez.