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Gathering Information to Prepare for Divorce

Posted in Divorce, Family Law on Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

Are you considering a divorce from your spouse? Or perhaps you are in the early stages of the divorce process?

Before divorce proceedings begin, your attorney will need some important documents from you regarding your financial picture. These documents are an integral part of the process because, as the saying goes, dry ink doesn’t lie. Your spouse may claim one thing in court, but clear and factual documents may prove otherwise. 

Here is a list of five document categories and the most important documents you should gather and submit to your Will County divorce attorney.

Tax Returns and Income Documents

Documents that list your total income, such as your current tax documents, can give your divorce lawyer a clearer picture of your financial status. A lot of information can be derived from your taxes, so much so that the judge may also ask to see copies of your tax returns. For example, the judge may wish to use your tax returns to make sure child support payments are accurately calculated.

In addition to your taxes, your attorney may wish to see other income-related documents, such as pay stubs from both you and your spouse, showing year-to-date income and deductions. 

Statement of Debts

Just as it’s important to provide income documents, it’s equally valuable to submit debt-related documents. Marital debts, which are any debts established during the marriage, must be divided between you and your spouse as fairly as possible. Gather up documents such as credit card statements, mortgage bills, auto-loan records, and any other debts acquired during your marriage.

Health Insurance Documents

Divorce attorneys typically ask their clients to provide documents that detail their out-of-pocket costs for their medical and dental insurance. Usually, there is an “Employee Only” cost and another cost for “Employee and Children Only.”

These documents are particularly important when it comes to calculating child support payments. The payment formula considers the costs of health insurance for both parents and their children. For example, if you provide health insurance for your children, you will receive credits in the calculation. 

Bank Account and Investment Statements

When it comes to dividing your estate, your estate will be valued relative to a specific date. Consequently, your income and debts are divided equitably as of that date. As you might imagine, the balances of your bank and investment accounts on this particular date are important. As such, you’ll want to give your divorce attorney statements for your joint and individual bank accounts and investment accounts for the valuation date given for your marital estate.

Retirement Statements

It’s a good idea to round up recent statements for your retirement or pension funds, 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and mutual funds. Retirement accounts must be divided equitably during a divorce. If your retirement account was established during your marriage, it’s likely the entire amount of the account will be considered marital. 

However, it can get complicated if the account was established before the marriage or after a separation. In such cases, the account may be partially considered non-marital. Your divorce attorney will comb through your retirement statements to get an understanding of what should and what shouldn’t be included in the distribution of retirement funds.

Contact Our Experienced Will County Family Law Attorneys Now

Equitably dividing your marital estate can be a complicated process that can have a powerful impact on your financial stability once the divorce is final. It’s important to give your Will County divorce attorney the necessary documents, so he or she has all the details to vigorously advocate for your rights and for the property settlement you deserve. Get full-service legal representation by contacting Sabuco, Beck, Hansen & Massino P.C. now. 

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