If you’re going through a divorce, a lawyer would first ask you to gather your financial papers, such as credit card statements, bank account statements, title paperwork, and mortgage documents. Divorcing couples still need to turn over at least some financial documents, even though some couples shared records while they were married.
Overview of Financial Information Requests During a Divorce
Some states require divorcing spouses to provide specific financial information at the beginning of the case; these disclosures are referred to as “mandatory discoveries” or “preliminary financial disclosures” in these states. If you reside in one of these jurisdictions, you and your spouse must share information about your financial accounts, credit card balances, and other assets and obligations.
According to New Hampshire’s “mandated disclosures” or “1.25-a” documents, several states force divorcing couples to share specific financial information at the beginning of the case (named after the court rule that requires them).
Before the majority of New Hampshire hearings, spouses are required to file “financial affidavits” with the court and each other that detail each spouse’s assets, debts, and income, as well as a detailed monthly budget that includes all regular expenses for both parents and children.
The documents you need to obtain are listed below. Your spouse’s attorney may give similar instructions to them. If a specific document appears significant but is not included in the list below, include it anyway. It is always preferable to be safe than sorry.
1. Financial statements
Banks and other lending organizations receive financial statements to verify a borrower’s capacity to repay a loan. Statements of net worth, profit-and-loss statements, balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements are collectively referred to as “financial statements.”
2. Life Insurance Documents
Statements about life insurance policies on your life, spouse’s, or children’s lives, whether individual or employer-sponsored. This covers any records that show a cash balance or loans secured by the policies.
3. Income Tax Returns.
Obtain as many personal, partnership, corporation, joint venture, or other income tax returns as you can for the entire duration of the marriage, including W-2s, 1099s, K-1 forms, and supporting schedules. Try to get corporate tax records and personal property tax returns filed at any point during the marriage if a business is involved. Supporting documentation is also crucial.
These could be schedules, receipts, or attachments like depreciation schedules.
4. Real Estate Documents
Property obtained during a marriage is regarded as marital property and is divided as part of the divorce settlement. If marital assets were used to pay the mortgage, maintain, or make repairs to real estate owned separately (purchased before marriage), that property might also come into play. It includes:
- Any records displaying the legal description of any property, whether owned jointly or separately. You can get these from your mortgage provider or bank.
- Your most recent mortgage statements for any loans you hold against real estate.
- Any records relating to the real estate’s initial purchase.
- All documentation related to the refinancing of the real estate, if applicable.
- Statement(s) of the tax assessor relating to all real estate.
5. Loan Applications.
Loan applications may include business and personal financial documents indicating assets, second mortgages, obligations, and income declarations for all mortgages, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), credit cards, lines of credit, auto loans, and promissory notes.
You should make copies of other documents explaining why the debt was incurred because business owners are frequently personally accountable for business debts.
One of the greatest life changes you will ever experience is divorce. Your attorney can negotiate your divorce more effectively if you give them a thorough, well-organized file with all of your paperwork.
Finances, paperwork, and legal documentation will help you go through the process more quickly and maybe save money on legal fees since you’ll be able to supply exactly what your attorney wants. Additionally, the more comprehensive and structured your document file is, the more proof you will have to support your case in court.