Being that I help people with their divorce in California every day, I do come across many clients who started their divorce on their own and then later call me to fix and finalize their divorce paperwork.
One of the common things I see is that people are filing the FL-150 income and expense declaration with the court when they don’t have to.
Here are the rules. Yes, you need to prepare an income and expense declaration, form FL-150, however you only have to file the FL-150 in a handful of situations. So this article will address when you need to file the income and expense declaration form FL-150 and when you don’t.
In addition, I will tell you how to avoid having to file the income and expense declaration if you want to avoid having to do so. (Read more below the video)
So when do you have to file the income and expense declaration form FL-150?
1. When there are minor children involved (unless uncontested case)
2. When a Response is filed.
3. When you have a true default case.
But what if you don’t want to file an income and expense declaration with the court because you don’t want your financials to be part of your divorce case and subject to being part of public record.
The reason I wrote this article and created the above video is because I get asked all the time if divorce records are public record. And the answer is yes. This is why we provide such little information (only what is required by the court) when it comes to drafting our divorce settlement agreements.
But when the income and expense form is required to be filed, such as when there are children involved, the question is how can you avoid having to file the FL-150?
The answer is quite simple and I already gave the answer away in the the list above.
If you are going through divorce in California and have children, you will have to file an income and expense declaration with the court. But, you only have to file the FL-150 if your case is what we call a default with agreement or true default.
If your California divorce case is considered an uncontested divorce (defined as the Petitioner filing the petition and the Respondent filing a Response) you do not have to file the income and expense declaration with the court.
So for purposes of this article, i was asked by a client how to avoid having to file the FL-150 income and expense declaration with the court. The answer was, “File a Response and you don’t have to file the FL-150 with the court”.
So if you are concerned about putting out all your personal information out there for the world to potentially find, one way to avoid filing the FL-150 is simply to have the Respondent file a Response.