A major part of going through divorce in California is disclosure. The disclosure process consists of serving your spouse with information related to your income and a detailed list of all the assets and debts.
This is known as the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure and is a mandatory step in the California divorce process.
The disclosure process for those living in Los Angeles County has recently changed. The disclosure laws have changed and you are now required to serve the last 2 years of tax returns on your spouse when preparing your financial disclosures. This was not necessary in the past.
There was a forms update this July and the language to the Declaration of Disclosure changed. When you complete the Declaration Regarding Service of Disclosure and Income and Expense Declaration, there is a check box that now includes the fact that you have served on the other party all tax returns filed by the party in the two years before service of the preliminary disclosures.
In the past, the parties tax returns were not required to be served on the other party during a divorce case. Some other counties had been doing this for a while, so I am not sure if the law was already in place and the forms were not updated yet, but there had not been any talk about it one way or the other.
Obviously, the courts are adding the tax returns to the disclosure process to make sure the parties are aware of the income each of the spouses earn.
So how does this affect divorce cases that are amicable or uncontested? Well, not too much. If you are going through an uncontested divorce and are trying to work things out, you won’t have a problem in this area of tax returns. In fact, all that has to happen is that one party supplies the tax returns and then they are served on both parties.
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