Financial Information to Gather if You’re Considering a Divorce
When you believe that a divorce is forthcoming, there are steps you can take to protect your rights. The unfortunate truth is that many spouses may be less than truthful or helpful during the divorce process, and you want to ensure you have knowledge of and access to all of the financial information that pertains to your marriage. For this reason, as soon as you believe a divorce may be in the near future, it is important to gather certain financial information and documents.
The first reason why you want to gather these documents ahead of time is that you may not have access to them once the divorce begins. There have been too many cases in which people seek out financial information only to discover that passwords have been changed or that documents have been moved or destroyed. Many people believe their spouse would never do such a thing, and then they learn what their spouse is capable of doing. Spouses may want to keep documents and information from you because they want to try to conceal assets or income for support or property division purposes. In other situations, you may not want to ask your spouse for certain information because you aren’t ready to tell them you plan to file for divorce.
In either situation, it can be wise to gather the following:
● Personal income tax returns for the past three years
● If applicable, business income tax returns for the past five years
● Proof of income for both you and your spouse
● Employment and benefit contracts
● Any prenuptial, postnuptial, or separation agreements
● Recent bank statements
● Certificates of deposit
● Statements for pension and retirement accounts for both you and your spouse
● Stock options or portfolios
● Credit card and loan statements
● Mortgage statements
● Property tax statements
● Utility bills
● Bills for school tuition, medical bills, program costs for children, etc.
● Budget statements if you have them
● Trusts, wills, and powers of attorney
● Life, health, auto, and homeowner’s insurance policies
● List of all personal property owned
● Safety deposit box contents
● Real estate appraisals
● Any other documents relevant to your financial situation
When you show these documents to an attorney, they can get a better idea of what your divorce will entail. You want to consider all income, assets, property, and debts going into a divorce, so you can get a clear idea of whether you may qualify for spousal or child support, or how property and debts may be allocated.
Learn How Our Las Vegas Divorce Lawyers Can Help You
Divorce can be a stressful process, though you can alleviate some stress with thorough preparation. Gathering documents now will likely be easier than after a divorce begins. In addition, it can help ensure that your spouse doesn’t try to hide any assets or income to limit support or property determinations. At Acherman Law, we can provide further guidance regarding what information to bring to your first meeting. If you would like to discuss your specific situation with a dedicated Las Vegas divorce attorney, please call 702-381-5615 or contact us online to request a free consultation.