The Importance of Financial Disclosure in Divorce Mediation

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsFor most couples that have been part of a divorce, finances and declaration of the financial situation of the spouses is vital to the mediation process. All through this blog, we’ll talk about why financial declaration is vital for couples to carry out.

A divorce mediator should help their clients complete their Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure forms before the mediation process begins, which includes the Schedule of Assets and Income and Expense Declaration forms.   For those of you who are wondering about the importance of these forms and the reasons as to why they are filled, here are a few answers that will help you out:

If you neglect to properly complete your Financial Disclosure, your Agreement can be nullified

California divorce mediators want the couples to have an agreement at the end of the mediation process. This agreement should be fair and equitable to both parties so that it can be adjudged as legal in the Family law courts.  According to the Section 2107(d) of the California Family Code, a judge can set aside any such agreement if there hasn’t been complete financial disclosure. Mediation and sorting your issues out can be a strenuous and tedious task. Nobody wants a simple mistake like non disclosure to destroy their mutually agreed on terms.

It can be a calming influence

Going into divorce is just like going into a dark room. There is a considerable amount of uneasiness and stress underlying in the minds of both the spouses. The most important reason for this is usually the uncertainty over financial security and wellbeing. The best way to avoid such situations and make the divorce easier is by getting the couple to talk about their finances candidly. A good Orange County divorce mediator will make sure financial disclosure is the first thing couples go through  so that calmness and certainty can prevail.

A bed rock for Cooperation

Divorce mediation unlike litigation requires harmony, peace, and collaboration between both the parties in order to be fruitful and beneficial. Transparency and good faith are the roots of an effective California divorce mediation. This transparency and good faith can only be achieved when the couples are open about one of the personal aspects of someone’s life, i.e. their finances. If each spouse is upfront and honest about their finances, there will be a greater cooperation and team work among the divorcing couples.

Makes your decisions better

What is the key to a good decision? Information! The more knowledge you have about something, the higher the chances of you making a better decision. Financial disclosure allows the couples this leverage of information. The more they know about each other’s financial positions, the more equitable an agreement they’ll agree on regarding financial security.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”