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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Mandatory Self-Disclosure

Term Definition Mandatory Self-Disclosure - a court rule requiring that the parties in suit make financial disclosures to one another within a certain period after the suit has begun.
Application in Divorce Mandatory self-disclosure is done automatically and apart from discovery.

In contested divorce actions, mandatory self-disclosure requires litigating spouses to automatically disclose a long list of financial information.

In most cases, mandatory self disclosure includes recent pay information; tax information (returns if a couple filed separately); recent bank and brokerage statements; current statements about retirement plans, insurance; documentation about obligations, including student loans, car loans, equity lines and mortgages, credit card statements as well as statements about financial opportunities, such as the appreciation of financial assets.

This information is conveyed in standardized forms, and is governed by the time standards of the court.

Nothing about mandatory self-disclosure prevents a party from additional discovery, and in complicated divorce actions -- for example, ones involving a family business, trust funds, or third parties -- additional disclosures may be needed.

As a rule of thumb, mandatory self-disclosure includes all the financial information a couple would need if they were going to a financial planner to do estate planning for retirement.

See Discovery.

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