One of the main issues in divorce is the division of assets and liabilities. It seems both parties are always concerned that they won’t be treated fairly. The first step to making sure the community property is divided appropriately is to gather all financial records for review.
You must provide all financial documents to the court if you are using traditional litigation, or to your collaborative team if you are getting a Collaborative Divorce. These documents include:
- Tax returns for the last two years and attached W2s.
- Proof of income, including pay stubs for the last two months, W2s, and1099s.
- Bank account statements for current bank accounts and any account that was closed within the 12 months prior to the separation date.
- Investment account statements.
- Retirement account statements, like for your pension, your 401k, IRA, for example.
- Stock portfolios and options.
- Mortgage information.
- Title to your car or cars, or loan documents to show equity in the cars and what the monthly payment is.
- Credit card statements.
- Any other document that shows what you own or what you owe, like medical bills, tuition, student loans)
- Life, health, automobile, and homeowners’ insurance policies.
- Prenuptial agreement if there is one.
- A list of personal property, like jewelry, home furnishings, artwork, etc.
- An itemized list of each spouse’s separate property, such as from an inheritance, personal injury settlement, or gift.
- A list of all property each spouse owned before the divorce and which they now claim is separate property.
These documents must be filed with the court if you are divorcing by way of traditional litigation. If your divorce is collaborative, you will disclose them to the team and a neutral financial professional on the team will help you understand these documents, what they mean now, and what they may mean in the future. The point is that both parties need to understand the financial implications of the divorce.
When both parties understand the implications of the income, expenses, and how to divide the assets, then a final divorce agreement can be prepared.
Heberger & Company Can Help
For more information about how a neutral financial professional can help you identify and review all the financial records you need in order to reach a divorce settlement agreement, contact us at Heberger & Company An Accountancy Corporation.