California Divorce Navigator: STEP 2

California Divorce Navigator – Step 2, Hello Divorce

Welcome to Step 2!

You now need to complete your financial disclosures. This needs to be done within 60 days of filing your initial divorce paperwork in California.

Financial Disclosures

In this step, you and your spouse need to provide your complete financial picture so that it can be fairly divided during Step 3. This needs to be completed within 60 days of filing your initial paperwork. The financial information you report will include income, expenses, assets, and debts. Get a preview of everything you need for this step here.

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Step 1: Petition & Response

Step 1: Complete

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Step 2: Financial Disclosures

Step 2: Complete

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Step 3: Final Judgment

Step 3: Complete

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Step 4: Divorce Wrap Up

Financial Disclosures FAQ

  • Why do I have to disclose my financials?

    Even if you already have a full agreement with your spouse (amazing but not likely at this point), this step is mandatory if you are the Petitioner (it is mandatory for the Respondent if 1) they filed a Response, 2) your county requires the Respondent file them, or 3) the Petitioner requests the Respondent files them). In this step, you and your spouse should truthfully represent your complete financial picture so that it can be fairly divided. This complete financial picture must include income, expenses, assets and debts.

  • How long do I have to complete the financial disclosures?

    Disclosures must be filed within 60 days of the petition or response being served. In some counties, even if a response is not filed, you still have to exchange financial disclosures with your spouse.

  • Is California a community property state?

    Yes. California is a community property state, which means that most property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses, and all property must be divided  when you divorce. After divorce, each spouse gets to keep his or her separate property.

  • What's considered community property?

    Most property (and debts) acquired during the marriage is classified as community property, and  is usually divided equally (or by agreement) between spouses during the divorce process. This might be the family house, vehicles, vacation properties, bank accounts, and personal family possessions like art, musical instruments, or collectables. Separate property is generally all property you acquired before or after marriage, or during the marriage from an outside source (like an inheritance). Learn more here.

  • What's considered separate property?

    Typically in California, separate property includes property that was owned or claimed before the marriage and certain types of property acquired during the marriage such as gifts and inheritance, monetary payments for personal injuries (except recovery for that person’s loss of earning capacity), or property gifted from either spouse to the other. Learn more here.

  • What happens if I don't disclose some of my assets now?

    If you don’t disclose everything on your forms, you run the risk of either missing something that later has to be addressed post-divorce (and you don’t want to have to do this again, right?). Or, you might be accused of “breach of spousal fiduciary duty” (failing to be fully transparent with finances) later in the process.

  • What happens if my financial situation changes after my divorce is finalized?

    You have an ongoing duty of disclosure about activities that materially change your assets, liability, or income. If something changes significantly (for example, your car was in an accident or your investment portfolio drops or skyrockets in value), you must notify your spouse in writing.

  • What will I need to disclose?

    Financial disclosures are forms that require you to share all information related to your property, debt, income, and expenses. Some states require you to attach proof (like tax returns and bank statements). Include everything that you know about and control (plus anything you know about your spouse’s estate, too).

  • What do I need if my divorce includes spousal or child support?

    If you have kids, you will have to attach a child support calculation to your divorce paperwork even if neither one of you plans to pay the other child support. If your marriage is of long duration (10 years or more), the court will likely require more information about your finances. But don’t worry, that’s all built in to our process and software.

  • What information will I need to provide about insurance policies?

    You will need to list company names, account numbers, type of insurance, and premium amounts.

  • What if I don’t have all the information needed?

    You can always save your information and come back once you have the information needed to continue the questionnaire. However, you won’t be able to continue the questionnaire without providing the information needed to move forward. But you will have an opportunity to review your answers at the end before your forms are generated.

  • This all seems complicated. Do I really need to list all my expenses and assets?

    Yes! It is important that you accurately complete your financial disclosures to reflect your current financial position. This includes your income, your expenses, your debts and your assets – even if you and your spouse have already divided everything.

  • I’m not sure what to put down on my financial statement. Can Hello Divorce tell me how to complete Step 2?

    Yes! If you need help completing your financial disclosures, one of our legal coaches can assist you with any questions you may have. You can get a legal coaching session in increments of as little as 30 minutes here.

Schedule your free 15-minute intro callCLICK HERE
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