Discovery During Divorce: Rule 16.2 & You

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When you first file for divorce in Colorado you may get an order from the Court telling you that “Rule 16.2 Disclosures” or “Mandatory Disclosures” are due in 6 weeks. But what does all this discussion about disclosures mean? What information do you have to produce? What does the other side have to disclose? What if you don’t have access to your spouse’s bank accounts?

Mandatory Disclosures

The purpose of Rule 16.2 is to ensure that there is full and honest disclosure of all facts that materially affect the parties’ interests. Essentially, this boils down to making sure that you and your spouse know everything you need to know to make the divorce process as fair and transparent as possible.

To accomplish this purpose, Rule 16.2 requires the parties to disclose documents listed in Form 35.1. Courts often call these mandatory disclosures. What do you need to disclose?

What do you need to disclose?

One of the most critical documents in the divorce process is your Sworn Financial Statement (“SFS”). This document summarizes all of your income, spending, assets, and debts. This is a sworn statement that can be used against you in court, so it’s important to get it right the first time and to amend it if necessary. Our divorce attorneys will help you draft and refine your SFS.

Other documents that you will need to disclose include:

  • Last 3 years of income tax returns
  • Last 3 years of personal financial statements (ex: loan or credit applications)
  • Last 3 years of business financial statements
  • Real estate documents (ex: titles)
  • Personal debt
  • Investments
  • Employment benefits
  • Retirement Plans
  • Bank/Financial Institution Accounts
  • Income Documentation
  • Employment and Education-Related Child Care Documentation
  • Insurance Documentation
  • Extraordinary Child Expenses

Duty to Supplement

Rule 16.2 requires you and your spouse to supplement or amend your disclosures as the divorce goes on. So, if you get a new tax return or take out a new loan, you have to disclose that.

The Floor, Not the Ceiling

Remember that Rule 16.2 sets the floor for disclosures. If you provide insufficient disclosures, the Court may re-open your settlement agreement and re-allocate undisclosed assets. Sometimes, it may make sense to disclose more. If your spouse is claiming that you can make more money than you actually do, but you have ten years of tax returns showing you’ve consistently made the same amount of money, you may consider disclosing all of those.

Our attorneys can help you decide what needs to be disclosed. We will help guide you through the discovery process. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

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