We often get questions from family law clients about whether you actually have to disclose everything in a proceeding - whether a divorce or a parenting time matter. The answer is that yes, you do have to disclose a significant amount of information and you have to do it without the other party even asking for that information.
In Colorado, the rules of procedure require that parties exchange certain information about their financial accounts and obligations, their child-related expenses and other relevant material through a process of Mandatory Disclosures, a Sworn Financial Statement and Supporting Schedules after service of a petition or post-decree motion involving financial issues.
What are the Mandatory Disclosures?
Mandatory disclosures include a comprehensive list of your personal financial "story" and picture as demonstrated by:
- Sworn Financial Statement
- Income tax returns (last 3 years)
- Personal financial statements
- Business financial statements
- Real estate documents
- Personal debt
- Employee benefits
- Retirement plans
- Bank/financial institution accounts
- Income documentation
- Employment and education-related child care documentation
- Insurance documentation
- Extraordinary children's expense documentation
Greater detail can be found on the state's website regarding Mandatory Disclosures.
Of particular interest and importance to many of our clients is the required Sworn Financial Statement. The word "sworn" has significance because the information set forth in this document is under oath - meaning you declare that it is accurate and truthful. Many clients get in trouble by not being forthcoming with information, by trying to conceal certain assets or by not taking care to check the accuracy of the information provided.
At the very end of the document, this seriousness of this oath is outlined with each party required to affirm that what they have provided is accurate and made under penalty of perjury.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of appropriately and thoroughly addressing this step in the family law process. Getting the guidance and counsel of an experienced attorney can help alleviate any concerns you may have about this requirement.