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
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.
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