Divorce Planning

By | July 27, 2013

A common question among people who are about to file for divorce is what to do ahead of time to prepare themselves for what lies ahead. Usually they are more concerned with the financial side rather than the emotional side of divorce. Aside from having a strong support network, supportive family members, and maybe a good therapist, practically speaking, it would be a good idea to make copies of some common financial documents and store them in a location where you can access them. During a divorce, you may find yourself unable to access the family residence, so it would be a good idea to securely store your information outside your home.

Some common financial documents needed in a divorce are:

  • Deeds and documents of title
  • Real estate closing documents
  • Bank statements (and cancelled checks) for all bank accounts
  • Credit card statements for all credit card accounts
  • Recent appraisals of property you may own
  • Statements for investment or brokerage accounts
  • Financial statements
  • Accounting records
  • Tax returns
  • Recent pay stubs
  • Insurance documents
  • Retirement plan documents and statements
  • Documentation of debt
  • Estate planning documents

The list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you an idea of what kinds of documents you will need. Often you will want to copy documents going back a number of years. Recent documents are important to have, but if there are any separate property contentions, reimbursements, or you need to trace money or assets that have mysteriously “disappeared,” periodic account statements or documents showing transfers will help you establish your claims and follow the money trail.