Blog

What Records and Documents Should I Gather if I am Considering a Divorce?

If you are considering a divorce in New Jersey, a wise starting point is to inventory your financial records and documents.

Here is a list of 14 records you should gather:

  1. Social Security Earnings Statement.  This is a snap shot of both parties’ respective income.  The statement shows a clear picture of the earning history of each party.
  2. Last five years of tax returns, and all W-2s, 1099s and K1s.
  3. Current copies of all bank, brokerage, and stock account statements.
  4. Employers Benefit Manual.  The manual provides a detailed list of every benefit provided by an employer to an employee.  Benefits include health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, 401(K), ESOPP, ESPP, pension information, and the like.
  5. If a pension is involved, documents from the plan administrator detailing the nature of the pension, the benefits of same, the specifications, and a form Qualified Domestic Relations Order. The plan administrator requires these to divide the pension.
  6. Copies of any other defined benefit and defined contribution retirement account statements, (i.e., IRAs, 401K, 403(b)).
  7. Copies of all the children’s savings accounts, 529 Plans, savings bonds, etc.
  8. Documentation to prove the existence of any other asset.
  9. Copies of credit card statements to show debt and charges. Year-end summaries are extremely helpful.
  10. Inventory of any safe or safe deposit box.  Make videos and photograph all items. This will safeguard any item you cannot bear to have disappear.
  11. Inventory artwork, wine collections, furniture, furnishings, jewelry, sentimental property or other valuable collections. Again, make videos and photograph.
  12. Your spouse’s health insurance policy. Obtaining and maintaining your own health insurance must be explored after the divorce.
  13. Current mortgage  and credit line statements. Confirm if your bank requires dual signatures before anyone can access your credit line.  Close the line of credit if there is a concern that the other party will loot the line of credit and take the money.
  14. Each party’s last three pay-stubs.

Proving Your Claim

If you claim something that is premarital or inherited, and is not subject to equitable distribution, you need to prove your case. Therefore, you will need to compile all documents necessary so show its immune status.

I always ask the client to provide me with a wish list and a statement as to where they want to be in a year after divorce to help me develop a strategy to achieve their goal.

As I review their list, the documents I need often change. I work with clients to identify, assert, and prove all claims so to successfully show what the client is entitled to in the divorce.

Contact me at jlawrence@lawlawfirm.com for more information about this blog or other divorce and family law issues.

Back to Blog
SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
The Advantages of Divorce Mediation

Reasons to Choose Divorce Mediation Over the Alternatives According to some sources, nearly half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Mediation results in a positive resolution in as many as 80% of all cases. Many divorce lawyers recommend mediation if possible because there are many advantages to this approach, including saving time…

Read More
Blog
Dealing With Taxes During Your Divorce

Planning for the Tax Aspects of a Divorce While divorce can be a challenging experience personally, emotionally and practically, the financial effects are some of the longest-lasting changes. Not only do you need to manage asset division and the resulting change to both parties’ finances, but you may also find it challenging to adjust to…

Read More
Blog
Is a Prenup or a Trust Better Advance Preparation for Divorce?

Prenup or a Trust? – Divorce-Proofing Your Assets When people in New Jersey decide to marry, they may not want to think about divorce. However, with more people marrying later in life, with established careers, as business owners or as parents of children from prior relationships, there are many good reasons to engage in financial…

Read More
Blog
Preparing for the Realities of Divorce

Meeting the Challenges of Divorce Dealing with an unhappy marriage can be painful and difficult. Whether there are severe conflicts or simply a growing apart over time, divorce is always challenging on personal, emotional and financial levels. While spouses in New Jersey know that divorce is a significant undertaking, it can be more difficult than…

Read More
Blog
How Can Divorce Affect Your Medical Practice?

How to Deal With Your Medical Practice in a Divorce New Jersey doctors going through a divorce may have particular concerns about how the end of the marriage will affect the future of their medical practice, especially as any private practice is typically a closely held business. Much like other business owners, physicians may worry…

Read More
Blog
What Documents Do You Need for Your Divorce Legal Consultation?

Documents to Give Your Divorce Attorney If you are considering a divorce in New Jersey, it is important to prepare the documents that you need to share with your family law attorney. While the decision to end a marriage may be deeply personal and emotional at its core, divorce is a legal and financial process…

Read More

Disclaimer and information can be found here, including links to descriptions and selection methodologies. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Call Now ButtonCall Us