Preparing Financially

What Information Do I Need?

                                                                                           

Full and Complete Disclosure Is Essential!

Gathering, organizing and trying to understand your financial information is essential to your preparation.  A satisfactory resolution depends on having all of the relevant financial information. If divorcing couples could agree on just two things, i.e. (1) that  “we want to get this done as soon as we can”, and that “We will each disclose to the other our entire financial situation upon request,” they would have done themselves an enormous favor! That means tax returns, monthly bank statements and cancelled checks, credit card statements, statements from retirement programs etc. etc.  In any event, make copies of every important, relevant document from the last three years of your marriage– to supply to your lawyer, your spouse,  your mediator, or to your spouse’s lawyer.

Documents You Can Obtain By Yourself

  1. Federal, state, and local income tax returns for the past 3 to 5 years.
  2. Corporate or partnership federal and state tax returns of your spouse's business (or your own) for the past three to five years.
  3. Agreements between the your spouse and yourself, such as a prenuptial or separation agreement or 1099 forms, copies  of leases, statements of interest or dividend income, account statements from stockbroker or financial advisor. 
  4. Bank statements of all personal and business checking accounts for you and your spouse; the cancelled checks and stubs, if applicable.
  5. Deeds, mortgages, leases held to any real estate.
  6. List of all income-producing assets, such as bank CDs and stock certificates.
  7. Pension and retirement plan annual and other periodic statements 
  8. Monthly statements and other records for 401(k) plans, IRAs, Keoghs, etc.
  9. List of employer-provided fringe benefits, pertinent employment contracts, stock option and profit-sharing plans and records, for you and your spouse
  10. List of all tangible physical assets, such as paintings, coin collection, automobiles, boats, etc. including bills of sale or registration certificates
  11. Any appraisals of tangible personal property, particularly collections, artwork antiques and valuables.
  12. Copies of life, health, auto, homeowner's, disability, and other pertinent insurance policies
  13. Personal or business Net Worth Statements previously prepared and submitted for a loan or any other purpose. 
  14. Appraisals of any property or business owned by the parties
  15. Location and itemized contents of any safety deposit boxes
  16. Description or records of any gifts or inheritances
  17. List outstanding debts, credit card records, and loans
  18. Copies of all wills and trust documents.
  19. Your passport, birth certificate, and social security cards (also copies of the same for your spouse)
  20. Love letters, e-mails or other written correspondence to or from yourself and/or your spouse.
  21. Marriage Certificate.
  22. Divorce Judgments, Settlement Agreements or other documents from any prior divorce proceedings

If in doubt, Save It!                                                                    

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