It is important to be financially organized prior to filling divorce. This is basic financial organization, and this is where the Financial Happiness Dashboard and you will always know where you stand by aggregating everything in one place and utilize the “vault” feature to store documents and keep them in order.
Your Certified Financial Advisor will work with you and explain what documents you need to bring to your attorney and explain what each document is and means for your financial stability. Tax returns are important for attorneys to review, especially when it comes to support issues. Good rule of thumb is to give them the past 3 years of returns. This helps base the amount of support you may receive or need to pay. If you have never completely read through your tax return, it is advised to do so with your financial advisor. They will be able to explain what everything means on your return and help you understand your financial situation and level of income.
Many times, attorneys will require wage reports. If you do not have a current wage report on file, you are able to request one from the IRS. A wage report will highlight the W-2, 1099 (untaxed income received), 1098 (how much mortgage interest that has been paid into the home), Form 5498 for IRA (Individual Retirement Account) contributions. In most cases, wage information can be requested for up to 10 years prior.
Current bank statements will be required to show current cashflow and expenditures. If you do any online banking and you are not utilizing the Financial Happiness e-money software, you can simply log onto your bank and download the most recent bank statements.
You will also need to provide the attorney with any retirement, investment/stock and or life insurance documentation. This will highlight most if not all assets that you and your spouse have together.
The benefit of working with a Certified Financial Advisor is they will have a specific checklist they work from. They will ensure that you have all the documentation that is required, and that you understand how it will affect you in the divorce.