Your divorce process requires documentation that you will need to provide. Collecting accurate information on your finances and your marital financial history can be a daunting challenge for a woman, especially when you haven’t been very involved with family finances. But in contested and some uncontested divorces, the court requires you and your spouse to each file a financial affidavit or statement of net worth that provides a record of your marital finances, including income, expenses, assets ,and debt. Regulations and terminology vary from state to state.
The court will use your financial affidavit when deciding alimony, child support, and the division of property. Your spouse’s account and yours may not match, so your accuracy is critical. You need a firm basis for your numbers; this isn’t the time for guessing or for vague, approximate amounts. Most people guess wrong. Your attorney will guide you through the process of preparing your financial affidavit.
Forbes contributor Jeff Landers advises women who are preparing these statements, “The ‘little’ details can make a ‘big’ difference. … [M]ost women cringe at the prospect of sorting through the past few years of assorted credit card bills, utility payments, and bank statements. But knowing your finances at that level of detail can make a significant difference in the financial picture” you present to the court.
Here are some other documents your attorney may need—according to divorcesupport.com, it’s a good idea to organize your documents in clearly labeled files:
- Your paycheck stubs, your spouse’s paycheck stubs, income tax returns, and documentation from any business in which you and your spouse had interests
- A copy of any financial statements or statements of net worth prepared by you or your spouse for securing bank loans or any other purpose
- Legal description of any real estate owned together or separately, current mortgage statements, documents from the initial purchase of the real estate, refinancing documents, and tax assessor’s statements pertaining to your real estate.
- Records of your and your spouse’s savings and checking accounts
- Insurance policies on your life, your spouse’s and your children’s lives
- A list of all debts in your or your spouse’s names, including credit cards, medical bills, car payments, and other loans
- Copies of recent statements for pension funds, retirement funds, IRAs, 401K plans, investments and mutual funds
- Title or registration for all automobiles, trucks, boats or other vehicles owned by you or you spouse, individually or jointly.
The seasoned family law and divorce lawyers at the McGrath Law Firm, founded by attorney Peter McGrath, will walk you through every step of the challenging divorce process to address your concerns and achieve your goals as efficiently as possible. From spousal support, child support, fault, and equitable division of property and debt to valuations, pre-nuptial agreements, annulments, and restraining orders, the experienced attorneys at McGrath Law Firm have a successful track record in all aspects of divorce law. Call us to schedule your consultation at (800) 283-1380.