Form FL-142: Everything You Need To Know

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin

Whether you are getting a divorce or legal separation, you will use the same form to disclose your assets and debts: Form FL-142. The information on this form will become the basis for dividing property and debts. 

The California Courts provide instructions, forms, and videos for self-help in getting a divorce. Included are the forms for dividing what you own and what you owe. Disclosing financial information should make it easier to agree on the terms of a divorce (or separation), but dividing and disclosing assets often triggers negative emotions. It can turn what seemed like a peaceful, amicable divorce into a contentious, expensive court battle. 

Having help from a knowledgeable Monterey divorce attorney can help make the process much less stressful. Unless your situation is very simple and agreeable to both parties, you should get a lawyer to help you fill out the required forms. You should contact an attorney who is familiar with the local courts. For example, if you live in Monterey or Hollister, choose a law firm like Giuliano Law that is known to and respected by the courts in those counties.

form fl-142 image

What is Form FL-142, and when is it needed? 

Form FL-142 is called the Schedule of Assets and Debts. This form is used to declare what you own and what you owe. Form FL-142 gives the detailed information needed to divide assets and debts. It is used to itemize each spouse’s property and debt. This includes community property (owned together) and separate property (owned by an individual). It details the assets and debt items, including who owns them, when they were obtained, and their current value. Whether you are getting a divorce or a legal separation, the requirements for filling out and filing an FL-142 financial disclosure are the same. 

  • If you filed for divorce, you are the petitioner. Petitioners must make preliminary financial disclosures within 60 days after filing a divorce petition. 
  • If you are responding to a divorce filing, you are the respondent. Respondents have 60 days from the day a response is due to file a response to the disclosure and must also share their asset and debt information.

The FL-142 form is required whenever some assets or debts should be divided between the spouses. 

How to fill out Form FL-142

To fill out Form FL-142, you will need documents proving your assets and debts. You’ll need to make copies of all of these documents and attach those copies to the form before filing it. This may include documentation for: 

  • Mortgage, home equity loans, HELOC, personal loans, and other loans
  • Checking, savings, and investment bank accounts
  • Retirement savings account (IRAs, 401k, etc.)
  • Credit cards
  • Title to house, car, boat, or other assets

You’ll also need to specify if the asset or debt is considered community property or separate property:

  • Community property is what you and your spouse own or owe together when filing. This may include pensions or retirement plans if they were earned during the marriage. Even if a spouse has a loan in only their name, these debts probably belong to both of you, whether you knew about them or not. It also includes anything you earned or bought with money you earned while married.
  • Separate property is what each of you owned or owed before you married or after you separated. It also includes any inheritance or gift made to either party. To determine if it is a community or separate property, you need to know your official date of separation. California says the date of separation can be the day one spouse let the other know they wanted to end the marriage and subsequently took action to separate (e.g., filed for divorce, moved out, etc.). After that date of separation, any debts or assets acquired become separate property. 

Form FL-142 asks about specific assets and debts and if they are community or separate property. For each item, there is also a column for each asset and debt where you will indicate if it is a separate property owned by the petitioner or the respondent by writing P or R in the SEP PROP box. If it is community property, there is no need to put an entry in this column.

You will also be asked to include a description, the date the asset was acquired, current market value, and how much (if any) is owed on the asset. The assets are divided into the following categories on the form. You can add multiple items in each row of the table:

  • Real estate
  • Household furniture, furnishings, appliances
  • Jewelry, antiques, art, coin collections, etc.
  • Vehicles, boats, trailers
  • Savings accounts
  • Checking accounts
  • Credit union, other deposit accounts
  • Cash
  • Tax Refund
  • Life insurance with cash surrender or loan value
  • Stocks, bonds, secured notes, mutual finds
  • Retirement and pensions
  • Profit-sharing, annuities, IRAs, deferred compensation
  • Accounts receivable and unsecured notes
  • Partnerships and other business interests
  • Other assets

Debts are divided into the following categories on the form. You can also add multiple items in each row of the table:

  • Student loans
  • Taxes
  • Support arrearages
  • Unsecured loans
  • Credit cards
  • Other debts

In addition, you can request a credit report to help uncover debts and accounts you may have forgotten or not known about. Credit reports are free and easily available online. Your lawyer or accountant can suggest a way to obtain your credit report. 

Common mistakes to avoid

It’s important to be truthful and accurate on your FL-142 form. If you are thought to be lying, distorting, or hiding information, you may lose your property and pay additional penalties. Here are some reminders to help you avoid mistakes:

  • Don’t forget to include assets or debts that might be in someone else’s possession (for example, something you are storing at your parent’s house or something you loaned to a neighbor.) 
  • Be sure each item’s value is properly assessed and documented
  • Don’t forget to include account numbers and other descriptive information
  • Remember, petitioners must file within 60 days after filing for divorce. 
  • Be thorough, be sure to attach documentation, and include any additional facts that may not be apparent.
  • Don’t forget to date and sign where indicated. 
  • Petitioners must ensure the form is sent/shared with the respondent. 

Having someone review your form before submitting it is always a good idea. An experienced attorney can help ensure you have properly filled out the form. If your financial situation is complicated, your attorney may seek additional help from an accountant or a forensic accounting specialist.

FAQs about California Form FL-142 

Here are some questions people going through a divorce often ask about form FL142:

  • Do I need an attorney to fill out form FL-142? For most couples in Monterey, filling out and filing a FL-142 form is complicated. The California courts recommend that when there are complications in divorce, you should get the advice of an attorney, especially in cases with high-value items or a lot of debt. 
  • Do I need any other forms? The forms you must fill out depend on your divorce or separation circumstances. This Divorce Forms page lists the different types of forms you may need. A lawyer can help advise which of these forms are necessary for your divorce case.
  • What if I made a mistake? If you make a mistake, it is impossible to tell if it was purposeful or accidental.  Depending on the mistake, you may need to start the process again and refile. You may become responsible for additional court and lawyers’ fees and even more serious punitive actions. You should review all the forms with your attorney to reduce the possibility of any mistakes occurring. 
  • Are there any court filing fees for FL-142? FL-142 is not filed with the court, only served, so there are no filing fees.

Let Giuliano Law Help Monterey and Hollister Residents with their divorces. 

The circumstances for every divorce are unique and often very sensitive. Whether your divorce is amicable or contentious, you need a caring lawyer to help you navigate Monterey divorce law’s complicated forms and requirements. You do not have to struggle with this all by yourself. At Giuliano Law, we have the knowledge and experience to help you get the best outcome for your circumstances. We will work with you to resolve child custody disputes, create equitable asset and debt division, and help ensure all forms are served correctly and in the right time frame. Get the attention to detail, guidance, care, and advocacy you deserve. If you are considering divorce or are involved in any divorce proceedings, call Giuliano Law at (831) 372-4003 or contact us online.

Speak With An Experienced Divorce Attorney

Call 831.372.4003 or fill out the form below to speak with an attorney.