What is the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure and How does a Party Complete It?

by | Jun 5, 2013 | Firm News |

As we have discussed in prior blog posts regarding the Sacramento One Day Divorce program, a major requirement of the Sacramento divorce process is the completion of the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure.  Under California law, both parties are required to complete a preliminary declaration of disclosure and a final declaration of disclosure. Once each spouse completes this document, they must serve their spouse with the whole document and file a 1 page proof of service with the court.

In a PDD, each spouse must list all of the assets and debts each party acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name each asset or debt is in.  It does not matter if the property is community or separate” it must be listed in the PDD.  The fair market values and loan balances of each asset and debt, plus a statement of value for each should be included.  If a party is unsure of the value, they should just estimate it and explain they are estimating. Each party must also complete a current Income and Expense declaration and include the last two months proof of income (paystubs, profit and loss statements, tax returns, etc). If an Income and Expense declaration was previously filed, but it was more than 3 months ago, it must be completed again as I&Es become outdated after 3 months.  The parties must be aware that their PDD and I&E are signed under penalty of perjury that they have listed all assets, debts, income, and income/investment opportunities.

The Sacramento divorce court will not proceed to enter a divorce judgment or marital settlement agreement unless both spouses have filed their proofs of service of their preliminary declarations of disclosure.  Both spouses must augment or update their PDDs if anything material changes regarding the assets and debts or income they disclosed. The law also technically requires the spouses to prepare a second declaration of disclosure called the Final Declaration of Disclosure.  The parties can also waive this requirement in their divorce judgment if they desire.

If you are in a Sacramento divorce and are having difficulty preparing your preliminary declaration of disclosure, please give our office a call.  It is important that you understand your legal rights and obligations with regard to the PDD.