What financial documents should you gather when facing a divorce?
Money is often one of the most contentious factors that Illinois couples have to discuss when they sit down at the table to negotiate a settlement in their divorce. Because of this, you must do your best to gather critical legal and financial information the minute you sense that your marriage is crumbling. You’ll be relieved that you did once you finally settle your divorce.
Research compiled by Debt.org shows that as much as 50% of American couples end up divorcing. Many of those spouses spend, on average, $15,000 to resolve their differences as part of the splitting-up process.
Divorce attorneys devote the bulk of their time helping their clients negotiate financial matters such as alimony, child support and the division of assets and debts, including taxes, debt, real estate, investment portfolios and family businesses. It’s when so much money is at stake that spouses often try to hide assets so that they don’t lose as much in their divorce.
Hiding assets is illegal. Spouses do it anyway, though. One of the best things that you can do if you can see a divorce coming is to gather all the legal and financial records that you may need to document the type of lifestyle that you’ve grown accustomed to living.
Some of the most critical documents are loan records, paycheck stubs, tax filing documents, wills and trust agreements and family business records. You may also want to gather any credit card, investment account and bank statements that you can locate for you, your spouse and any businesses that you own.
You should bring all of these documents with you when you first meet with your divorce attorney. They will likely review these to gain a better perspective on both you and your spouse’s earnings, to create an inventory of assets and liabilities, and to see how you spend money. By doing this, it will help your lawyer gain a better perspective on what type of negotiation to expect. It will also allow them to better prepare you for what to expect as an outcome in your Springfield case.