Just as there is a wide variety of families involved in the divorce process, those families have varying degrees of financial wealth or debt. Even if you’re committed to not fighting over money or believed that you and your spouse have resolved all financial issues, it is still important to make a complete list of all financial accounts and liabilities so that they can be properly addressed throughout the divorce process.
Among the information you should compile in preparing for divorce, at least gather the following information:
- List all financial accounts, including, savings, retirement, pension, investment and trust accounts
- Retain a copy of current statements for all of the accounts on your list
- If any of the above accounts existed prior to the marriage, then attempt to obtain statements from the time of marriage for comparison to current balances
- If there are any large deposits to or expenditures from the accounts on your list, such as an inheritance received or a withdrawal for an investment, obtain a copy of the related records
- Gather the same information for any business that you or your spouse owns
- Make a list of all debts that you own, regardless of whose name is on the debt, including mortgages car loans, credit cards, equity lines and any other accounts or personal debts that either spouse may owe
- Be sure to note the monthly payment for any loans
- Gather copies of tax returns for the past several year, including supporting documentation
Remember that you have the best access to this information before a separation or filing for divorce. The stronger position if you are in prior to filing for divorce, the more likely you are to have a favorable outcome. Knowledge is power!
Look for the next installment in this series: Preparing for Divorce – Marital Assets
Check out the previous installments: Preparing for Divorce and Preparing for Divorce – Child Custody Issues