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What financial documents do you need during a divorce?

Divorce is typically a stressful and tumultuous time as you go through a process that is going to disrupt a way of life you may have become accustomed to. Dealing with your emotions along with the relationships of family, children and friends during this time will likely be strenuous.

Managing your emotional well-being will be important. It is imperative you stay focused on your task at hand: finalizing your divorce. Early on your job will be to gather information and produce documents which can play a big part in your financial future. If anger, frustration or sadness continue to get the best of you during the divorce process, you may miss critical areas that may be regrettable later.

Preparation

If you are ready to take control of your divorce, preparation is the key. Being prepared with documents and paperwork should be your first step. The amount of paperwork you will need to gather may surprise you, but you must remember you will need to show every critical aspect of your life during your marriage. This preparation should start immediately, even before you speak with an attorney. It should even start if your spouse is demanding a divorce and you are against the idea.

Documents you need

The documents you will need to produce should cover a long range of time, going back in some cases up to five years. The most recent transactions and statements will not cut it. This can often take time and effort to pull together. Here are the most common items that will be requested by your attorney:

  • Income tax returns going back several years
  • Employment information including pay stubs
  • Financial records such as bank statements and loan information
  • Investment account statements
  • Pension plan documents
  • Retirement savings accounts
  • Children’s bank accounts
  • Credit card statements
  • Wills and trust information
  • Social security statements

Divorce has a way of making people act or do things they would never normally do. One of those can be hiding assets. Not only is this a dangerous and unwise, but it is something that you should watch out for in your spouse.

Financial documents may only be a small part of what you need to produce during your divorce. Though financial documents can be some of the most important pieces of information, you should be ready to show documents detailing assets, childcare, personal information and relevant information to the divorce such as adultery or substance abuse.

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