The more money and assets you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have acquired together, the more complicated your divorce is going to be. It's a simple fact of divorce that every family law attorney knows: Divorce proceedings are one of the times in life when people wish they were accountants -- because it can be a difficult process to sort through all their financial accounts and property valuations.
Fortunately, professionals are available to help you with your high asset divorce proceedings and these professionals can take the burden of your divorce off your shoulders. Still, you will need to gather a wide array of documentation from your personal records so these professionals -- who may include a lawyer, accountant, financial analyst and appraiser -- can do their jobs.
Documentation to gather for your divorce proceedings
Here's a short list of the most important documentation you'll need to gather for your divorce:
- A listing of the contents found in all of your safety deposit boxes.
- Tax returns and credit card statements for the last five years.
- Your current income information for the period following your previous tax return. Include all income from payroll, investment property, lease agreements, interest, dividends and royalties.
- Retirement plan and insurance policy statements.
- Statements relating to loans, investments, savings and checking accounts.
- Statements from your brokerage firms and all securities, mutual fund, annuities and commodities accounts.
- Financial statements relating to any businesses you own or partly own, including net worth statements, income statements, balance sheets and lists of assets and liabilities.
- Pension fund statements and employee stock option statements.
- Information relating to mortgages, promissory notes, personal loans, credit card statements and pending lawsuits.
- A list of personal property owned before marriage and a list of property acquired after marriage through gifts and inheritance.
- Appraisals relating to different assets owned.
- A detailed review of employment records showing dates of employment, wages and all other forms of income and benefits associated with employment.
Gather any other information you feel is pertinent
The above list of information to gather for your legal and financial divorce professionals will help them assist you in navigating your divorce proceedings; however, the list may not be complete. Make sure to use your common sense and identify other information that may be required to ensure that your property rights are fully protected during the asset division process associated with your divorce.