A divorce not only separates two people, it separates the assets and debts accumulated during the marriage. An asset is worth value, like a bank account, car or house. A liability is money owed such as a car loan, credit card balance or mortgage.
Your attorney will request your assets and liabilities. To make the meeting more productive, fill out the paperwork the attorney provides you before the meeting or bring copies of the following documents.
1. 5 years of tax returns or for the length of your marriage if less than 5 years. If separate tax returns were filed during the marriage, bring copies of yours and your spouses, if possible.
2. Copies of the account statements from banks, stock accounts, retirement accounts, pension accounts and other financial assets for the past 12 months. These will be needed to show joint assets of the couple. Also, keep a copy of each statement for every month going forward.
3. Copies of the account statements for liabilities such as credit cards, mortgage and loan statements for the past 12 months. These will be needed to show the money owed by the couple. Also, keep a copy of each statement for every month going forward.
4. A list of all high value or contentious items to include cars, a house, expensive jewelry, heirlooms and investment art. Your attorney will ask for a complete list of all items owned, but this initial list will advise the attorney if there are unusual items of which to be aware.
5. Create a draft budget for your projected monthly and annual needs after the divorce. Your attorney use this when developing a fair settlement offer and potential request for spousal support.
You are paying for the attorney’s time. Filling out the paperwork requested by the attorney prior to the meeting will facilitate a more productive and meaningful meeting. If no specific paperwork is requested, bring the above listed documents.
The information above is intended for education purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.