Submit a New Listing
Best Way To Divorce USA Step 5

Best Way To Divorce USA Step 5

Reaching an agreement:



If you and your spouse reach an agreement, you can avoid going to court if you are able to write up your agreement into a formal court order.

There are two sets of financial disclosures required during the divorce process. The first disclosure is called the preliminary declaration of disclosure. The second disclosure is called the final declaration of disclosure. While many people choose to waive the final declaration of disclosure, you do not have the option to waive the preliminary declaration of disclosure.


Best Way To Divorce

Key Resources

Best Way To Divorce: Step 2 – Financial Disclosure


Stipulated Judgment - also known as a Marital Settlement Agreement:

Ideally you and your spouse/partner come to an agreement regarding the financial split, and this can then be turned into a formal court order. If you struggle to keep things amicable talking about the finances, then make use of trained mediators who can facilitate those difficult discussions.

You may also want to get guidance from financial experts like Financial Planners, who can help you work out what you will need for childcare, schooling etc looking into the future.

If you and your spouse reach an agreement, you can avoid going to court – which will save you many thousands of dollars and a great deal of time and stress.  

The formal name for an agreement is a Stipulated Judgment – also known as a Marital Settlement Agreement. A stipulation can become an order when the judge signs and approves of your agreement. This is usually called a Stipulation and Order. 

As part of your agreement, you can drop (vacate) the hearing. Reaching an agreement and turning it into a court order is usually the best of both worlds. Not only do you remain in control of your situation and make your own decisions, but you also have the benefit of an enforceable court order.


Accurate financial disclosures:

Accurate financial disclosures allow both parties to obtain a fair outcome.

A financial disclosure consists of four forms: FL-140, FL-141, FL-142 (or FL-160), and FL-150. It is a specific way of listing out all assets, debts, income, and expenses. In addition, you will state who owns or owes each asset or debt, when the property or debt was acquired, and provide a rough value of each item. 

As part of the divorce process, you will be dividing property, including debts, as well as determining support. It’s therefore very important that both you and your spouse know what your assets and debts actually are.

You are required to provide a substantial amount of documentation, including but not limited to the following:

• Paycheck stubs • Federal and State income tax returns • Mortgage statements • Pink slips to vehicles • Real property deeds • Bank account statements • Retirement statements • Credit card statements • Life insurance policy statements

All of these documents need to be formatted in a very specific way. You will then need to serve all of your financial disclosures on the other side; however, you will only file FL-141 and FL-150 with the court.  

Assuming your spouse is participating in the case, you will not be able to obtain a divorce until your spouse completes his or her financial disclosure. If they don’t, they will suffer financial penalties but it will really slow things up, and getting them to cooperate is a good strategy. Perhaps even offering to pay for admin support if they are not great at filling in forms.

Very Useful People


Expert advice – no obligation conversations

Choose your expert

Legal and Dispute Resolution Support

The lawyers on my Directory are all trained in some form of dispute resolution (ie. they want to help you to stay out of court). That includes mediators, collaborative divorce practitioners and arbitrators.

And don’t forget about changing your Will!

  • Mediation
  • Collaborative Law
  • Arbitration


Financial Experts

Whether you need an accountant, or a highly qualified financial planner – you can access those experts here……..

  • Financial Planning
  • Mortgages
  • Tax Accountants


Counselling and Coaching and Parenting

Need emotional support? Or a bit lost about what’s going to happen next? Worried about the kids?

Have a no-obligation chat (or some even offer whole discovery sessions) with our experts here……

  • Coaching
  • Parenting
  • Counselling


Need a Divorce Strategy?

Save time and money and plot a more peaceful way to divorce: Access a free 15 min Divorce Navigation Call

  • Coaching
  • Parenting
  • Counselling


Bonus Videos

Don’t be defined by being a ‘single parent’

What Does A Divorce Strategist Do, Exactly?

Through my own experience of family break up, of not having any legal protection (no living together agreement), and watching my married friends get divorced and the misery and cost and conflict that came about, I felt a need to share what I have learned.

I created live events to help families to be more resilient; a Directory of Experts focused on non-adversarial ways to divorce (mediation, collaborative law – all keeping people out of court); and a way to create a Living Together Life Plan and Agreement so those who don’t marry will not end up in the situation I found myself in.

And as the Alternative Divorce Guide and the UK’s (possibly only) Divorce Strategist, I am always happy to guide people towards the right person to talk to at the right time, and offer them a wealth of resources through my online CoParenting in a Box.

Because I am an ‘independent voice’ and professional speaker and campaigner for better ways to divorce, I’m often asked for my opininions on divorce-related issues by journalists.

“Suzy was able to offer really important and comforting advice on the whole process and offer positive alternatives to help guide me through this stressful time. Her contact list is extensive and she was able to put me in touch with a many great people who were also able to offer guidance and make the process much less painless. I’m really glad I met her and feel like my journey through this difficult period has been much more positive because of it”  


“Wow you are an amazing resource Suzy!!

I liked the way things are set out. I like the information, it makes sense. And it is supportive

Thank you so muc


Just want a quick chat?

I can offer a 15 minute Discovery Call for free to subscribers to this course. Book here:

15 Min CallI need Longer
The information and videos on this guide applies to England and Wales only. The law may be different if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. We have simplified things in this guide. Please don’t rely on this guide as a complete statement of the law. We recommend you try and get advice from the sources we have suggested.