In almost every California dissolution case, both parties must make certain financial disclosures on standardized court forms. One of these forms is the Schedule of Assets and Debts, on which you must provide detailed information about your assets and debts. Providing accurate information on this form is critical, as failing to do so could subject you to sanctions by the court. As a result, you should consult a family attorney from Evans Kingsbury LLP to assist you in completing these and other required disclosures in your dissolution case.
Understanding the Schedule of Assets and Debts
The Schedule of Assets and Debts form requires you to list all the assets you own, whether it is community property or separate property. You must also list all the debts you owe, either separately or jointly with your spouse.
For each asset or item of property that you list, you must indicate the following:
- Whether you believe that asset to be the separate property of one spouse and if so, which spouse;
- The date that you acquired the asset;
- The current gross fair market value of the asset; and
- The amount of money owed on the asset or encumbrance.
The Schedule of Assets and Debts also requires that you attach certain documentation concerning the assets and debts. For example, for any real estate you own, you must attach the following documentation:
- The street address of the real estate;
- A copy of the deed containing a legal description of the real estate; and
- The most recent mortgage or lender’s statement concerning the real estate.
Likewise, you must attach a copy of the titles for vehicles and boats. For bank, credit union, and other deposit accounts, you must provide the name of the bank and branch, the account number, the account title, and attach a copy of the most recent bank statement.
If you own a life insurance policy with a cash surrender or loan value, you must provide a copy of the declaration page for the policy. If you own any type of retirement account, you also must provide the latest account statement and, in the case of a pension, a copy of the summary plan documents. If someone owes you money, you should provide details on the balance owed to you and attach a copy of the relevant promissory note or agreement. You also must provide the most current tax forms concerning any business interests that you own, including a K-1 form and Schedule C.
Finally, while it is unnecessary to list every piece of personal property that you own as an asset on this form, you should include all assets of any significant value. These assets might include jewelry, antiques, artwork, furniture, high-end stereo systems, televisions, computers, designer purses, and similar items. You also should include any assets you anticipate may be a source of conflict in your divorce.
Similarly, the Schedule of Assets and Debts requires that you provide the following information about every debt that you owe:
- Whether you believe that debt to be the separate property of one spouse, and if so, which spouse;
- The total amount owed on the debt; and
- The date that you incurred the debt.
You generally must provide copies of the latest account statement confirming the outstanding balance for each debt. You also must provide identifying details about each debt, such as the name and address of the creditor and the account number. If you owe back child support, you must also attach a copy of the court order on child support.
Ensuring Accuracy on your Schedule of Assets and Debts
You must sign the Schedule of Assets and Debts under penalty of perjury, so all the information you provide must be correct. If you fail to list assets or debts or provide the required documentation, you may face sanctions such as payment of your spouse’s attorney fees or the court awarding a particular asset to your spouse.
As a result, if you are unsure how to fill out a particular part of the form or value an asset, you should get the advice of an experienced dissolution lawyer. You should remember that your spouse’s attorney will closely scrutinize your Schedule of Assets and Debts and can use the information you provide against you in your dissolution proceedings. Therefore, check with your lawyer first instead of guessing whether you should characterize an asset as separate or community property. For instance, you should not state that the marital residence is your spouse’s separate property simply because it is titled solely in your spouse’s name; despite the name on the title, the residence may be community property for division in your divorce.
Call the Dissolution Lawyers at Evans Kingsbury LLP Today
A dissolution and family law cases are among the most challenging, emotional, and time-consuming cases you can go through. The assistance of an experienced California family law attorney can be crucial to a positive outcome in your case. Contact Evans Kingsbury LLP today by calling (707) 596-6090 or visiting us online, and learn more about how we can assist you with your family law case.