I am Douglas Pinkham with Pinkham and associates we are a Family Law firm. We practice exclusively in the area of California Divorce and Family Law. We can assist you no matter where you are located in the state of California. You can also watch our video tutorials discussing different forms and processes to get you through your divorce
This particular tutorial is going to concentrate on your Stipulation and Waiver of Final Declarations of Disclosure, form FL 144. Below is a screenshot of the form.
First let us explain what the purpose of this form. When you get divorced in California, the state demands each party discloses to the other party everything you know about income, expenses, assets and debts. Think of yourselves as two directors in a corporation and when you are dissolving the corporation just like we’re really dissolving the marriage. You both have to disclose everything you know about all the finances to each other before you can dissolve the corporation. It the same theory used when dissolving a marriage. In fact there are several corporations codes that actually apply to divorce case.
Much like every form when you start filling out your FL 144 you need to put your information on the top. Add your Name, Address, Telephone number. For “Attorney For” you are going to put your name if you are filling it out for yourself. Then add the county in which you are filing all your forms and then the address of that court branch. The (brand) name is the name the specific name of the branch of the court you are filing your paperwork. Most counties have only one location to file Family Law documents, other counties like San Diego or like San Bernardino or certainly Los Angeles have many different buildings and branches to fill out and to file Family Law paperwork. Therefore make sure you put the name of the correct branch.
Then you have the “Petitioner’s” name who is the same petitioner from the very beginning who filed the petition and the respondent is the person who filed the response. Then you are going to put the “Case number” to the right and then all you need to do is put your name on the left on the bottom and sign to the right.
Make sure you date the day you sign the form. Keep in mind this form is actually a very very big deal. What it says is under Family Code Section 2105 D the parties agree to waive the requirements of the family law section 2105 A, to waive your final declaration of disclosure.Let’s back up a tiny bit, when you file for divorce you are both required to do these disclosures. They’re supposed to be done within 30 days of filing your petition or filing your response. Some people take longer, but you are supposed to do it within 30 days of filing your paperwork. Then you are supposed to do your Final Declarations of Disclosure toward the end of your divorce case just before trial.
The purpose of the Final Declarations of Disclosure are to update and augment the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure with up-to-date information if information has changed. For example you may have investment and the investment value may have changed, you may have had debts that had been paid off since the preliminary declarations were filled out, financials may have changed throughout the process. But if you are going through an agreed-upon divorce and your entire divorce only takes a couple of months to get completed and you are only waiting for the state of California to get through their six-month waiting period to give you your divorce it’s almost a waste to do preliminary declaration of disclosure in say April and then follow it up in June by doing final declarations of disclosure when all the information is basically still the same. So you can waive the final declarations of disclosure if you both agree and that’s what this form is for.
Now keep in mind and this is very very important. You may not waive final declarations of disclosure unless you properly completed and served preliminary declaration of disclosure. This is very very important, huge. So make sure that you do the preliminary declaration of disclosure properly before you try to waive final declarations of disclosure.
Keep in mind we also have a very detailed video explaining how to do step-by-step form by form line by line how to do preliminary declarations of disclosure. Use that video to help you do your declarations of disclosure.
If you need help give us a call again. My name is Douglas Pinkham with Pinkham and associates our firm is in Southern California but we can assist you no matter where you are located in the state of California and can help you with any California Divorce.