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 Domestic Relations Order. the plan administrator requires 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.

Subscribe to Our Blog

SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
What Does Family Law Litigation Mean?

Before getting into what family law litigation means, it is helpful for readers to understand the general definition of litigation. Litigation is the process of addressing disputes by filing or answering a complaint through the court system. Consequently, a litigator is a trial lawyer who represents clients in a court of law. So, family law…

Read More
Blog
Protecting Personal Information in a New Jersey Divorce

  The basic presumption in New Jersey is that Court records are open to the public. This means that anyone can go into a New Jersey courthouse and review a divorce file of a relative, friend, or even a stranger. Before irreconcilable differences became a viable option as a cause of action for divorce, many…

Read More
Blog
Do NJ Child Support Guidelines automatically allow for an increase when my kid reaches a certain age?

Simply put, the answer is no. In New Jersey, there are no automatic increases in child support under the NJ Child Support Guidelines. The Case In a recent case, Dunigan v. Wilson, the New Jersey Appellate Division rejected the trial court’s decision to increase child support by 14.6%* because one of the children reached the…

Read More
Blog
Blended Family? Think about this

More than half of the families in the United States were formed by remarriages or re-coupling of relationships. Based on current statistics, half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce.  And, the average length of a marriage is seven years. With the ending of marriages, the subsequent remarriages or the forming of…

Read More
Blog
Equitable Distribution of Negative Equity

  The factors that must be considered by the court for purposes of determining equitable distribution of assets and debts acquired during marriage are identified in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.1. Items included for purposes of equitable distribution are: marital properties vehicles bank accounts stock options retirement accounts mortgages credit card debts automobile loans any other assets and…

Read More
Blog
Extreme Higher Earning Parent – No Increase in Support

  Child Support with an Extreme Higher Earning Parent – In a recent New Jersey appellate division case of Ianniello v. Pizzo, the appellate division upheld the trial court’s denial of the custodial parent’s request to increase child support.  The non-custodial parent was paying $10,000 per month.  The custodial parent sought a $65,000 per month…

Read More
Call Now ButtonCall Us