Contemplating Divorce? A Comprehensive Financial Planning Checklist

The decision to pursue a divorce is one fraught with emotional, financial, and practical considerations. While divorce is often seen as the ending of a romantic relationship, it also entails the unraveling of intertwined financial lives. From property division to asset allocation, financial planning plays a crucial role in the divorce process. You should always be prepared when it comes to money. In this blog post, we'll explore the essential financial checklist to consider when contemplating divorce and meeting with a lawyer.

Divorce is a deeply emotional process, marked by the loss of a relationship and the potential adjustment to co-parenting dynamics. However, there's also a pragmatic side to divorce, involving the division of property, assets, and debts accumulated during the marriage. Navigating this terrain requires careful planning and organization.

The “Big 9” Financial Checklist:

If you're considering divorce and preparing to consult with an attorney, gathering key financial documents is crucial. Here are the nine essential pieces of information your attorney will likely need to properly begin to value your marital estate: 

  • 1. Last three years of tax returns
  • 2. Last three years of credit card statements
  • 3. Statements for brokerage accounts, retirement accounts (IRA or 401k), dating back three years or longer if held before the marriage
  • 4. Deeds or titles to any property owned, such as a house or car
  • 5. Copies and statements for any life insurance policies (whole or term)
  • 6. Medical insurance information, especially if both spouses are covered under one plan or through one spouse's employer
  • 7. Current mortgage statement reflecting the remaining principal balance
  • 8. Current auto loan statements
  • 9. Documentation of any other debts and current statements, such as student loans or home equity lines of credit

Having these documents readily available can expedite the divorce process and minimize costs. Depending on the particular county that you are filing for divorce in, the county will require you to complete a Financial Declaration with all the above information listed and file same with the Court. While legal counsel can help obtain necessary information through discovery requests, proactively gathering this information can streamline proceedings. The more comprehensive and organized your financial records, the more efficiently your attorney can assess the marital estate and advocate for your interests.

Navigating the complexities of divorce and separating the marital estate requires sound legal counsel. If you have questions or concerns about your specific case, Ciyou & Associates, P.C. can provide personalized assistance tailored to your needs. Our team is committed to helping you navigate the divorce process with clarity and confidence.

This blog post serves as informational guidance and does not constitute legal advice. For personalized legal assistance regarding your divorce case, please consult with a qualified family law attorney at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. 


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