Divorce Documents You Will Need
Massachusetts Divorce Lawyers
Before you file for divorce and even before you break the news to your spouse, it is important for you to start collecting all of the financial records and property documents you’ll need for your divorce. These include:
- Federal and state income tax returns and schedules for the past three (3) years
- Your four (4) most recent pay stubs from each employer for whom you worked
- Employment agreements, including documentation relating to overtime pay, commission, bonuses, incentive compensation, vacation pay, sick pay, severance pay, stock, stock options and other equity compensation
- Documentation regarding the cost and nature of your health insurance coverage
Statements for the past three (3) years for:
1. All bank accounts held in your name (either individually or jointly), or in the name of another person, or held by you for the benefit of your minor child
2. Any securities, stocks, bonds, notes or obligations, certificates of deposit owned or held by you for the benefit of your minor child(ren), 401k statements, IRA statements and pension plan statements for all accounts listed on your financial statement.
- Copies of any loan applications or mortgage applications made, prepared or submitted by you within the last three (3) years
- Copies of any financial statement or statement of assets and liabilities that you have prepared or made within the last three (3) years
- Real estate documents and registration statements for vehicles
- All insurance policies, including automobile, life, health and disability
- Any retirement, pension, or profit-sharing plans, including 401(k)s, IRAs, Keoghs, brokerage or money market accounts, etc.
- A list of all the contents of safety deposit boxes
- Lists of property owned by each spouse prior to marriage
- Information relating to gifts or inheritance received during the marriage
Don’t wait to assemble these documents. If you wait until after discussing divorce with your spouse, you may find that many of the documents have disappeared.
Take Photos and Videos of All Personal Belongings
Before filing for divorce, you should take an inventory of all household items, including jewelry, furniture, artwork, floor coverings and clothing. Open closet doors and take photos of your living room and den, dining room, bedrooms, etc. When things end up missing during the divorce, you can provide proof of their existence. The photos also can help jog your memory as to your possessions when it’s time to divide the marital estate.
Don’t Be Denied Access to Financial Records
If your spouse realizes you are not particularly savvy about the family finances, he or she can use your lack of knowledge to their advantage. Some of the common actions they may try to take include the following:
- Not providing their financial documents and discovery
- Cancelling credit cards
- Moving funds between bank accounts
- Changing life insurance beneficiaries
Courts want divorcing spouses to have their day in court and be able to present their facts and evidence in a fair and even manner. To ensure the cases are resolved on their merits, the judge allows both parties to engage in discovery to get information from or about the other party. When one of the spouses refuses to cooperate, the court may sanction that spouse and impose financial penalties.
Preparing for Divorce? Speak with Us for FREE!
At Miller Law Group, P.C., we offer clients a free consultation, with no obligation to use our services. Hundreds of people call MLG every month because of our dedication to leveling the playing field for our clients in family law cases.
To schedule an appointment, call us at (508) 502-7002 or contact us online.