Divorce means making emotional, relationship-based decisions, but don’t think that’s all it is. Arguably a bigger part of the process is making financial decisions. You have to divide assets, make decisions about things like child support and alimony, anticipate what your financial future will look like, create a new budget and much more.
With the financial side of this being so important, one key is to get as much documentation as you possibly can to help you through the process. Examples of documents that you need include:
- Bank statements for the last year for both your checking and savings accounts
- Any recent pay stubs for you or your spouse
- Credit card statements running back over the last year
- Income tax returns for all of the years that you can find, but at least for the last three years
- Statements for your investment accounts over the last 12 months
- Any paperwork relating to your retirement accounts, including totals and contributions
- Statements for all other loans that you may have, such as car loans, mortgage loans and personal loans
Finally, you just want to list out the assets that you own and specify when you acquired them. Some may have been yours before you got married, some may have belonged to your spouse and many you may have purchased together after your marriage.
This documentation is just the first step. It helps you know exactly what type of finances you are dealing with, and you can then begin to plan for the future. Make sure you are well aware of all of the legal options you have at this time.