It is a good thing to create a Financial Checklist for People Contemplating Divorce and Separation.
In any type of divorce process, it is important to document your marital estate. The marital estate generally comprises all assets and debts acquired by either party during the marriage, regardless of title. There are numerous exceptions to this rule, so this issue carefully with your attorney or Mediator.
Regardless of how or who acquired the asset, as long as it was acquired during the marriage, then it needs to be included in the Financial Checklist for People Contemplating Divorce and Separation. Gather information on an asset used during the marriage also, regardless of when it was obtained.
An asset is anything that is worth money! An example would be any real estate, a car, a boat, a valuable piece of artwork, a retirement account, or an investment account. You don’t need to be concerned about loans on the assets (such as your mortgage or a car loan) at this point, because you will be listing all of these debts separately.
The result will be your “net” marital estate.
Here is a brief checklist to help guide you with this process. It is by no means a comprehensive list, so anticipate that your attorney or Mediator will need more information, but it is a good starting place.
Financial Checklist for People Contemplating Divorce and Separation
• Income tax returns for the previous five years
• Retirement account statements; one from the date of marriage, one current.
• Estimated valuation of all real estate acquired during the marriage
• Estimated value of the marital residence, if owned
• Statements from current investment accounts
• Statements from college savings accounts for minor children
• Estimated (Blue Book) value of all automobiles
• Itemization of all valuable artwork, jewelry, etc. with estimate of values
• Copies of all trusts
• Copies of all whole life insurance policies or annuities
• Recent statements from whole life and annuity policies
• Copies of all corporate papers; Sub S Corp’s, LLC’s etc.
• Current credit card statements
• Current mortgage balances (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc….)
• Automobile loans
• Promissory notes
• Student loans
• Secured loans
• Other debts and obligations (unsecured)
In complicated cases, a financial professional may be called on to assist in evaluating the worth of the marital estate. In the less complicated cases, you and your lawyer or Mediator can evaluate the worth using an Excell or Numbers spreadsheet, or just a pencil and paper!
What it all comes down to is that you want to identify everything that was acquired during the marriage, or used as marital property during the marriage no matter how it was acquired.
HOT TIP: If you are interested in saving money, you need to have this information as well organized as possible for your attorney or financial professional or before you come for Mediation. You will be paying by the hour for this service, so the less time needed to spend organizing your financial matters, the less money you will pay!
Also, if saving money and privacy and a quick divorce is important to you, be sure to get in touch with Jerry Cosby of Texas Mediation Group today.