One of the first questions most people ask at the start of any divorce proceedings is what will I need to bring in for our first meeting. People get divorced for a variety of reasons, but the actual process of dissolution will almost without exception involve a discussion of finances and production of documents to the other side.
While by no means exhaustive, the following list is a good place to start:
1. W-2s and proof of income from the past several years (3 years is a good rule of thumb if at all possible)
2. Copies of the last three (3) years individual federal, state and local tax returns.
3. Pension, 401k, and profit-sharing plans including the most recent plan summary
4. Insurance plans, including health and life
5. Real estate deeds, vehicle titles and registration
6. Statements of outstanding debt, such as student loans, credit cards, and mortgages
7. Appraisals of real estate or personal property or any business property in which the party holds an interest
8. Copies of the most recent statements on all bank accounts, IRA’s, stock accounts
9. Proof of the source of any inheritances or gifts, including the disposition of all such funds
10. Copies of any bankruptcy filings
11. A recent credit report from one of the three major credit reporting companies
Keep in mind, good organization can have a direct bearing on case by minimizing expense and duration. Guiding clients through this is one of the things upon which we pride ourselves .