If you’re considering ending your marriage, you will need to start thinking about the documents to gather to aid your attorney and lower your legal fees. In some cases, couples have been separated for some time before they decide to legally divorce, so their financial circumstances are not the same as they were when the parties were living together. In other cases, after the separation, one spouse gets a new job, or the other starts a new relationship and the parties are unable to agree about their finances. There are many, many circumstances which could affect both parties’ full awareness and understanding of each other’s financial situation.
To ensure all parties involved have a full and complete picture of the family finances, both spouses disclose their financial documents to the other during the a part of the divorce called Discovery.
So, what kinds of information is included in the Discovery process?
1. When possible, you should provide your attorney with the same information for your spouse.
2. Name, address, and income of your employer(s) over the past 7 years.
3. How much you are paid and how often you are paid.
4. If you are retired or are approaching retirement , the name and address of your last employer and the date of your retirement.
5. Last year’s annual gross income.
6. Your current monthly gross income (the financial affidavit form requires you to provide a breakdown of all income and deductions to your net monthly income can be determined).
7. Average monthly expenses (e,g, rent/mortgage, electricity, water/sewer, cable, car payments, car insurance, health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, etc.)
8. Monthly expenses for the children that shared by the parties (e.g. school tuition, monthly allowances, extra curricular activities, day care, etc.).
9. Monthly expenses for children outside of the marriage (e.g. child support, insurance policies, etc.).
10. Other monthly payments (eg. credit cards, student loans, etc).
Assets and liabilities [eg. the marital house (an asset) and the mortgage on your house (a liability)].
11. Contingent assets and liabilities (e.g. an anticipated inheritance, ).
This is not a comprehensive list, and you ultimately will need to gather all the records to back up this information, such as your actual bills, pay stubs, retirements statements, credit cards statements, etc., but this is a good place to start. Your attorney will provide you with a checklist for all the items you will need to fit your particular needs.
Call today at 678-324-8511 to us to schedule an appointment to discuss the particulars of your case. We can help make this challenging process much easier to navigate.