Avoid the Risk and Know What Specific Information and Documentation You Should Have in Preparation for Your Divorce.
- March 26th, 2021
- Cheryl McGirr
- Comments Off on Avoid the Risk and Know What Specific Information and Documentation You Should Have in Preparation for Your Divorce.
What documentation and information do I need in preparation for divorce?
If you currently going through, or are thinking of, a divorce, it will be helpful to develop an inventory of the property you and your spouse own. Anticipate that one of you will be separating your belongings and moving out of the marital residence. It’s highly recommended that you take photos or videos of high-value items like electronics, furniture, paintings, antiques, appliances, watches, and jewelry.
If possible, gather important information and documentation and make copies for your records. Below is a nearly exhaustive list of several examples of documentation and information that can be useful in the event of divorce.
Inventory and Documentation:
Financial records and documents
- Deeds and information on real property
- Business records
- Titles and information on motor vehicles (cars, motorcycles, boats, planes, etc.)
- Statements and records for financial, brokerage, and retirement accounts
- Tax returns and supporting documents
- Marital agreements (pre and post nuptial)
- List of property owned by each spouse prior to marriage
- List of property acquired by each spouse individually by gift during the marriage
- Inheritance: If you’ve received an inheritance, provide details (who did you receive it from, when, how much did you receive, and where did it go?)
- Benefit information and cards (medical, dental, vision, prescription, etc.)
- Statements and records for debts and liabilities (mortgages, car notes, student loans, credit cards, personal lines of credit, etc.)
Insurance and Annuity Information:
- Life Insurance
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance
- Health Savings Accounts
- Medical Savings
- Disability Insurance
Employment records and information:
- Payroll records for you and your spouse
- Bonus information
- Stock options
- Deferred comp agreements, statements, and balances
ID’s and Documentation:
- Spouse’s Driver License Number
- Spouse’s Social Security Number
- City and state where your spouse was born
- Your birth certificate
- Your passport
- Your Social Security Card
Estate Planning Documents
- Wills or Living Will Documents
- Certification of Trust: Provide a copy if you have a Trust. Provide Certification of Trust only and not entire Trust document.
- Powers of Attorney
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Advance Healthcare Directives
Important dates and information regarding the divorce/separation
- Dates prior to separation
- Date of separation
- Dates bank accounts were split
- Counseling dates
- Filing dates
- Expenses for various lifestyle costs (e.g., school tuition, unreimbursed medical bills, music or dance lessons for children, etc.)
ID’s and documentation for the children of the marriage:
- Social Security numbers/cards
- Birth Certificates
- Driver license numbers
Details about parenting your child(ren)
- When and what you feed them
- Getting up with them during the night
- Taking them to appointments
- Playtime (i.e., playtime activities, where, when and for how long)
- Conversations you had with them
Parental care activities while at home (if you are still living together)
- Who prepared meals
- Who took the kids to school or cared for them during the day
- Who dressed them, bathed them, brushed their teeth, worked on potty training, etc.
- How your children were not picked up at their scheduled time etc.
When looking at a comprehensive list like this, it can seem overwhelming. Just remember, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Pick a category and start working it. Get everything you can and then move to the next category. Your attorney will be able to help guide you along the way.
Documents may seem boring, but they can often turn a case. Having them can make all the difference in your results.
To download a printable version of this list, click HERE.
Divorce – Documentation and Information Needed