“What Is A Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure And Why Do I Have To Fill One Out?”

A preliminary declaration of disclosure (often abbreviated to PDD) is an initial financial disclosure that parties are required to make at the beginning of a divorce. They are normally filed within 60 days of filing and contain financial information both on income and assets and debts.

They are required because California law gives both parties in a divorce the duty of disclosing all relevant financial information. The initial declarations are usually accompanied by statements from accounts and other documents that show the accuracy of the numbers put into the forms.

It’s important to note that if the parties, as the case goes along, discover additional or different information, that information can be put into the Final Declaration of Disclosure, which is done just prior to a divorce trial.

It’s also important that your declaration of disclosure be accurate. If you misrepresent financial matters, you divorce may be voided later and the financial portion re-opened. In addition, if and assert or debt is left off, it can later be divided as an omitted asset or debt. For that reason, you want to make sure your declaration is as accurate as possible.

If the case is proceeding by default, only the Petitioner needs to serve the PDD. If it is contested, both parties must serve it before the case can proceed to a settlement conference or have a trial scheduled.

The other reason to have an accurate PDD is that it is your attorney’s road map to settling the case. All the financial information is in one place so that nothing is accidentally forgotten.

In the disclosure, you can mark assets and debts as either separate property or community property. This often comes up in marriages of shorter duration where each party brings assets into the marriage, or in situations where one party has a separate property inheritance.

DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.

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