The Declaration of Disclosure is CRUCIAL - The Men's Legal Center


The legislature has mandated formal disclosure of all assets and debts in divorce cases by both parties within 60 days of filing the Petition or the Response. This is good news.

A party should have an idea of what assets and debts are on the table after the parties exchange their Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure (PDOD). The problem is generally the parties will only identify the assets and debts in the PDOD and not actually their value. It is a good starting point for requesting further information via other discovery means such as Special Interrogatories or Request for Production of Documents to serve the party who produced the PDOD or subpoena bank records from a Bank.

A party must disclose values of the assets and debts at the Final Declaration of Disclosure state shortly before the time of trial. Therefore, if one party suspects that the other party is not disclosing all the assets even if you agree to a Marital Settlement Agreement, insist on a Final Declaration of Disclosure be exchanged.

Extensive PDOD helps. If you want to keep attorney fees down and settle quickly, overproduce the backup documents to your PDOD declaration. For example, if you use a savings account. Produce the statements three months prior to the month of the date of separation. Producing only the statement for the month the parties separated always appears suspicious because it is hard to understand the baseline.

So, try to make valuation of all assets and debts non-issues, and avoid having the opposing party and/or attorney send you formal discovery requests.

A policy of overproducing backup documents to the PDOD builds trust and helps the parties settle quickly.

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