Financial Records and Divorce (Checklist)
At some point in their divorce, couples divide the marital estate, which are their assets and liabilities, and memorialize the arrangement in a marital settlement agreement. At a minimum, this agreement divides what the couple own and what they owe, jointly and as individuals, and establishes the terms and conditions of support, life and medial insurance, and the legal and physical custody of their children, visitation and support. To do this, the couple needs the financial records of their marriage. This means all the assets and all the liabilities regardless of whose name is on them. On the asset side, this includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

The Checklist
  • income tax returns for at least the last three years (federal, state and local)
  • proof of both spousesí income (w-2 and 1099 forms)
  • statements of any financial accounts, including checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, mutual funds and money market accounts
  • all real estate records, including the martial home and unimproved land, (particularly related paperwork such as the deed, the promissory note, mortgage, statement from the lender showing the balance due, any appraisals of property, and the most recent tax bill)
  • personal property, such as automobiles, furnishings, collections (art, stamp, coin)
  • stocks, bonds, annuities, retirement plans, particularly pensions and profit sharing plans
  • accrued vacation time
  • medical savings accounts
  • whole life insurance policies
  • trusts
And on the debt side, this includes, but is necessarily limited to:
  • records of credit cards
  • vehicle loans, including the title(s), promissory note if the vehicle is encumbered, payment coupon or invoice from most recent payment
  • mortgages and home equity loans
  • promissory notes
  • student loans
  • other loans

Useful Online Tools

Suggested Reading
The Property Division Handbook The Property Division Handbook
This book will explain in detail the property distribution aspect of divorce and separation. It will focus on the rights each spouse has under certain laws, situations, and circumstances, and how the division of the property will be decided by the court or through negotiation.

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ASSETS AND LIABILITIES – A property settlement must deal with what a couple own and owe, both as individuals and as a couple.
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