After the petition and summons have been filed and served on your spouse, and after your spouse has filed his or her response with the Court, it is time for both parties to complete financial disclosures. Although these documents are not filed with the Court in an uncontested divorce, they do need to be exchanged between the spouses, and if they are not, the Court will not approve or finalize your divorce. As part of the financial disclosure process, you and your spouse will fill out Form FL-150 which is your Income and Expense Declaration. Generally, this form allows each spouse to detail everything that you earn and spend. The information contained in this form can then be used by to calculate spousal support and child support, if applicable to your case.
What is an Income and Expense Declaration?
Your Income and Expense Declaration includes specific information about each spouse’s current financial situation. California Rule of Court 5.427 requires that all FL-150s must be “current.”3 Each spouse is required to include accurate and complete information in his or her financial disclosures. If it is determined that either spouse provided false information in the financial disclosures, certain Court orders can be set aside as a result of the perjury.
Here is some information about the specific sections of Form FL-150, in case you have questions as to why you are providing certain information:
These sections ask for basic financial information, including your general employment information, your age and education, tax information, including when you last filed taxes and how you filed (married filing jointly, single, etc.), and information regarding the other party’s (estimated) income. When inputting information about your income, you are asked to specify how you are paid.
Here is some information to help you if you get confused:
- Semi-monthly = Paid 2 times per month. 12 months x 2 = 24 paydays each year.
- Bi-weekly = Paid every other week, or every 2 weeks. 52 weeks/year = 26 paydays.
Section 5 is where you list all of your income including, but not limited to, any support you may be receiving, disability payments and/or workers compensation.
Sections 7-9 ask about additional income, such as self-employment income, additional income, and any changes in income that may have occurred in the last 12 months.
Section 10 is somewhat self-explanatory, asking you to list any deductions such as child support, health insurance premiums, or spousal support you may pay or receive from a previous marriage.
Section 11 asks you to list your assets. Take notice of the part that asks for real property (land, home, commercial building, etc.) and personal property (personal property is anything that isn’t real property) and make sure to state “estimate fair market value minus the debts you owe.” In other words, this section asks for net value, not gross.
Sections 12-15 are primarily for the purpose of estimating your household expenses. This section will give the spouses (or the Court, if you end up at a hearing) information regarding household expenses, to help each spouse budget for his or her new life, and to determine how muchs support might be needed.
Section 15 is primarily for the purpose of attorney’s fees and typically completed by an attorney if necessary. This is only required if one party is requesting reimbursement of attorneys fees from the other. California Family Codes §§2030 – 2034 allows the court to award fees in the amount that are “reasonably necessary” to properly litigate and/or negotiate a divorce.
Sections 16-20 are only applicable if you and your spouse have minor children and one party is seeking child support. These sections list specific expenses of the children including childcare, health care and education costs.
By filling out the Have/Owe and Make/Spend Sections on it’s over easy, you will be providing information that is necessary to complete your Income and Expense declaration, which will ultimately be exchanged with your spouse with supporting documentation. If you have any questions while you go through these sections, it’s over easy will be happy to refer you to tax and financial specialists to answer any specific questions that you may have.