If you have always relied on your spouse to look after the finances in your marriage, getting divorced means you need to get informed.
While your spouse may be trustworthy enough to ensure you get a fair settlement, it pays to be sure.
What financial paperwork should I look for in a divorce?
You can find some of the information you need in paper form; others will require you to go online or contact the relevant bank or financial institution. If you do not have access, ask your spouse to give you the details. If they refuse, you can request a court to order your spouse to share the details. Here are some of the items you will need to find out about:
- Debts: You need to divide your debts in divorce. Check your mortgage, any personal loans and credit card statements.
- Prenuptial agreements: If you signed one, it might affect how you divide assets.
- Income: Gather wage slips and look for extras such as bonuses or commissions. If one of you owns a business, you will need details.
- Tax returns: These can provide further information about income.
- Investment details: You or your spouse may have wealth invested in stocks and shares in the state, in another state, or offshore. Get valuations for real estate you own.
- Retirement plans, pension plans and life insurance: Most couples have funds put aside for later life, some of which you must share in the divorce.
It is better to have too much information than too little. Even if you do not understand it all, you can get legal help to examine it and ensure you get a fair divorce settlement.