When making financial decisions during the divorce process, there are documents that are needed to help in the division of assets and building making future realistic budgets. In many marriages, one spouse has handled the finances and the other is in the dark about their family’s finances. The start point is gathering important financial documents for the financial neutral in a Collaborative Divorce.
Financial Documents That Must be Reviewed
Essentially, the financial expert in the case needs all the financial documents. Even if one spouse believes a document is not relevant, it needs to be reviewed and the financial consultant will determine its value to the divorce process. Some of the documents that must be gathered and provided to the accountant include:
- Bank statements from all bank accounts, including checking and savings accounts. About 12 months is usually enough to review. If there have been large transfers out of an account, or significant deposits, it will raise questions as to why? Was it a rollover of a 401(k)? An inheritance? A personal injury award? Those answers will make a difference in the settlement process.
- Credit card statements. What are those charges for? Does one spouse use the card more than the other? What are those purchases for?
- Investment accounts. The information must be provided whether the account is a retirement plan through an employer or private investment.
- Tax returns. The financial neutral will generally start by reviewing three years of tax returns. If any questions are raised, it may be wise to review the last five years of returns.
The financial expert in the case will review these documents, particularly the last few months of transactions, to find recurring expenses. There are often expenses on the bank statements that do not show up on the tax returns. The goal is to help identify expenses so realistic post-divorce budgets can be created.
Heberger & Company Can Help
The financial professionals at Heberger & Company, An Accountancy Corporation, have years of experience in assisting attorneys and their clients in property settlement negotiations and cash flow so that each spouse understands the budgetary needs of the other spouse. Contact us for assistance. We serve Fresno and the surrounding areas.