What are Declarations of Disclosure in Divorce Proceedings?

signing the form for California Divorce Proceedings

Divorces are complicated — there is a lot of paperwork, major life changes, and emotions that all combine to make things challenging for everyone involved.

It’s important to understand what your obligations are in California divorce proceedings. The declarations of disclosure are part of your duties.

The declarations serve to provide evidence that both parties have the same information with regards to the facts and liabilities surrounding liabilities and assets. These documents protect and preserve your community liabilities and assets starting on the date of your official separation.

Additionally, these documents also make sure that sufficient and fair spousal and child support are awarded, assets are divided fairly, and conflicts are resolved through disclosure and discovery.

We’re going to walk you through your duties in the disclosure of California divorce proceedings and what is required of you along the way through to your divorce being finalized.

What Are Your Disclosure Duties in California Divorce Proceedings?

From the date of your separation through to the finalizing of your divorce, you and your spouse have a financial duty to each other. You are both supposed to remain honest and act in the best interests of the other party.

This part can get complex, but said plainly, your specific duties include:

  • Providing each other with complete and accurate disclosure of your liabilities and assets. This includes all earnings, expenses, and accumulations.
  • You both must disclose any income-producing opportunity that arises after you are separated but that resulted from any investment made from the date of your marriage until your separation date.
  • You must provide each other with an accurate and complete disclosure of any management or operation of a business that you have an interest in.

What is a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure?

A preliminary declaration of disclosure must be served on the other party within 60 days of filing for divorce. It has to state that a person of “reasonable and ordinary intelligence” would be able to ascertain:

  • The identity of the assets that you interest in and the liabilities that you may or may not be liable for.
  • Your percentage ownership in each asset and percentage obligation for liability when you are the not sole owner of the property.

You provide that information through a document called a Schedule of Assets and Debts.

Additionally, you will also need to complete an Income and Expense Declaration and provide copies of your tax returns from the two years before the date of your preliminary declaration of disclosure.

Furthermore, you will certify that everything you have said is true to the best of your knowledge — under penalty of perjury — with a Declaration of Disclosure form.

What is a Final Declaration of Disclosure?

Your final declaration must include the following:

  • All of the information and facts with regards to the characterization of your liabilities and assets.
  • Any and all information and facts with regards to your assets and their valuation — in particular, assets that are community property or are contended to be community property.
  • All information and facts pertaining to the amounts of your obligations — in particular, obligations that are contended or considered to be community property.
  • All information and facts pertaining to your accumulations, earnings, and expenses that were provided in your Income and Expense Declaration.

You will provide this information using a Schedule of Assets and Debts. You will also need to provide any supporting documentation for any contentions in the Schedule of Assets and Debts. Additionally, you will also need to complete a supporting declaration that contains the required information.

Furthermore, you must provide a current and complete Income and Expense Declaration and again, you will testify under penalty of perjury that the information you provided was accurate by using the Declaration of Disclosure form.

When is the Final Declaration Due?

This final declaration and your Income and Expense Declaration are required to be served to the other party before or at the time you are ready to enter into an agreement regarding support or property issues. If your case goes to trial, then you have to provide your documents no later than 45 days before your trial date.

Are There Exceptions to Completing the Final Declaration?

There are three exceptions to disclosure requirements.

  • If the other party accepts your default, or you accept theirs, then final declarations may be waived.
  • Declarations may be waived if you both mutually agree to waive them — this must be done using a waiver, and again, this document is signed under penalty of perjury.
  • Finally, if either party has sought a summary dissolution, the final declaration can be waived.

Let Us Help You Comply with Your Disclosure Requirements

You don’t want to be the party that fails to comply with your obligations regarding disclosure requirements. The other party can impose financial sanctions against you. The amount imposed will be sufficient to discourage this conduct — including reasonable attorney fees and costs.

For comprehensive legal counsel on your options during your divorce or legal separation, contact Azemika & Azemika, Kern County Divorce Attorneys. We will provide the guidance and representation you need to ensure your rights are protected.

California Child Adoption Requirements

California Child Adoption Requirements

Adoption is a legal agreement under which the foster parents become personally liable concerning the child they adopt and gain all legal parental rights.

If you hope to achieve your parenting aspirations, it can be a great way to create or extend your family by bringing a child into your household and your heart. Indeed, each year in California, hundreds of thousands of successful adoption processes take place. In this way, many children who otherwise would not have their own families have become part of loving households. 

Their adoptive parents provide them with the treatment, security, and opportunity they need for safe personal development and growth.

Nevertheless, the process of child adoption in California can be life-changing, but also challenging and even confusing at times. It is also necessary for prospective adoptive parents to meet early on with a professional adoption attorney to know their options and better understand California child adoption laws.

Each state has its adoption process and laws, but the procedure will vary significantly for families in various states. As a native of California, you may want to consult with an adoption agency or adoption specialist who is very experienced with California child adoption requirements, its laws and policies. 

California Child Adoption Requirements and Laws

Adoption law comes under family law, which is regulated largely by individual states and differs greatly across the world.

The following are some significant factors in the adoption process and stepparent adoption in California:

1. Financial Status Requirements

Although you do not have to buy your own house to become an adoptive parent or reach a predetermined income standard, we have all heard the anecdotes of how much it takes to raise a child. 

Therefore, financial status, especially in single-parent adoptions, is often a concern. The court may require evidence that you can help and provide for the child as your benefits will come from employment, a pension, or disability compensation. 

A history of stable work can be seen by most courts not only as a symbol of financial security, but also as evidence of transparency and maturity. Outside the home, all members of a married pair or domestic partnership can work.

2.  Requirements for an International Adoption in California

As long as the adoption is finalized in a country of the Hague Convention, California will accept international adoption edicts issued under the laws of the United States and the country which authorized the adoption. In California, readoption is voluntary but may be necessary by the U.S. Homeland Security Agency. Readoption is the method of updating and legitimizing international recognition by a state court.

The procedure entails at least one in-home visit and filing the adoption appeal, the report of the interregional adoption court, financial records, the report of the home study, and the final order of adoption. 

A California birth certificate can be received by each California citizen who adopts internationally. Upon issuance of an adoption statement from the court or a readoption order, the state registration may create a new birth certificate.

3. Criminal Background Check

As part of adoption hearings, most states require a criminal background check. Minor violations, such as outstanding fines for parking, are generally of no significance. More serious allegations, however, may be a cause for worry and may affect adoption hearings. Of course, previous allegations of child abuse or neglect preclude an individual from being an adoptive parent.

4. Adopter’s age requirements

In the adoption process, always keep in mind that you should be at least ten years older than the child you are adopting. This age gap is part of adopting a child in California according to their child adoption laws.

5. Complete Home Study Examination

If you are planning to adopt a child in California, you must conduct a home study examination. This criterion for the adoption process and child adoption laws exists to show that you can provide the child with a secure, caring family and a peaceful environment. 

Also, the social worker appointed to your case will help you consider what sorts of choices could be better for your family, address your needs, and assist you in planning for the adoption process.

During the home study investigation, you will need to:

  • Submit your fingerprints
  • Subject to a physical test (A doctor’s note stating that you do not have any life-threatening or life-shortening diseases)
  • Attend lessons of an adoption school
  • Complete at least one separate social worker interview
  • A minimum of two trips to your home to see you and the child
  • Verification of working status and income.

Get Legal Assistance to Help You Meet California Child Adoption Requirements

Over the past 28 years, our partners at Azemika & Azemika have all successfully handled the most difficult and high asset family law cases in Kern County and we can help you, too. 
We are family law specialists and we understand that each case is as unique as the clients we represent. For comprehensive representation in the adoption process, contact us today.