Pre-Divorce Financial Document List

If you or your spouse have filed or are thinking about filing for a divorce there are many important documents to try and obtain or copy with that in mind. 

Whether you are married for 1 year or 25 years, knowledge is key. While each party will be required to complete a Statement of Net Worth (SNW), often one or both parties may be either unaware or unsure of expenses, assets and debts. So if you are unfortunately heading in that direction it is a good step to begin compiling or copying important documents. Below is a list of items. While it is unlikely that you may have access or be able to obtain all of these documents at least you will have a goal of what is important.  The list is not arranged in any order of importance as there are so many different items and one size does not fit everyone.  To achieve fair equitable distribution of marital assets knowing what exists and the value or amount of debt is very important.

1. Bank statements for all accounts whether in individual, joint name or a family business. Goal at least one year but three years would be ideal.

2. Copies of all deeds, mortgages, home equity loans, recent mortgage and home equity loan statement showing balance due.

3. Any real estate appraisals

4. Real Estate Closing Statements both from purchases and/or sales

5. Last three years of tax returns both personal and business

6. Last three years of W-2, 1099, K-1

7. Pre-nuptial Agreement (if any)

8. Business partnership agreement whether between the spouses or with other persons

9. Employment Agreement

10. List of Stock Options and/or Stock Grants

11. If there is a business with "cash" whether reported or unreported a copy of the ledger of monies received

12. Work appointment calendar for a self-employed spouse (could be a calendar of band dates, work jobs, etc.)

13. Pension/401k Benefit Statement

14. Union Benefit Statement

15. Car purchase/loan/lease agreement

16. Photos of valuable jewelry, artwork and collectibles

17. Life Insurance Policies and statement if there is cash value

18. Copies of any loan agreements and recent statements of balance due

19. College Semester bill including parent loan agreements

20. Personal Injury Settlement documents

21. Any (no matter how old) records of assets and account balances at the time of marriage

22. All credit card statements for the past year (it may be necessary to go further back but at least one year to start)

So as you can see the more info the better.  The list is not exhaustive as there are other items that may exist but it is more than a strong start to have as much of the items that are relevant to your marital/financial status.  As you compile these documents you may want to consider where to store them so that all of your hard work does not suddenly "disappear".

Do not worry if you cannot access many of these items because your spouse will be required to produce those items that you do not have or to sign authorizations so that you can get copies.  Additionally, your attorney can subpoena items that are not voluntarily provided.