You've relied on your spouse for everything – from paying the bills to managing the bank accounts. Now you're ready to speak to a lawyer about divorce but you realize that you don't know anything about the household budget. That can be a real problem when it comes time to fill out paperwork – especially the paperwork dealing with income, assets and debts. Before you file for divorce, take the time to gather as much information as you can. Here's some of the financial information you'll need.
Monthly Income from All Sources
Do you know how much money comes into the home each month? Do you know where it comes from? If you don't, you need to take some time and track down that information, especially if you have children or are planning on asking for alimony. The judge will use the monthly income when determining child support and alimony payments.
All Debts Paid Each Month
If you don't know how many bills you and your spouse actually pay each month, you may find yourself at a disadvantage when it comes time to divide up the debts. This is particularly true if you and your spouse have decided to split the bills evenly.
You'll have no way to know what's an even split if you don't know what debts you owe. Before you file for divorce, take the time to write down all the bills you know about. Then, spend a few days going through old mail to find other bills that you might not have been aware of.
All Combined Assets
Do you know how many assets you and your spouse have? Have you accounted for all the checking and savings accounts and investment accounts? When documenting your assets, there's one account that you might not have taken into consideration – your spouse's retirement account.
Depending on how long you've been married, you may be entitled to half the retirement account once your spouse retires. Be sure to let your attorney know that there are retirement accounts that may need to be divided.
Passwords for All Joint Accounts
Does your spouse take care of the bills and the banking online? If so, do you know all the passwords? How about the web addresses for each of those accounts? Knowing those passwords will help you monitor account activity – such as the withdrawal of large sums of money or closure of credit card accounts.
Now that you're planning on filing for divorce, take the time to do some homework. The information provided above will help you track down the financial information you'll need during the divorce proceedings. If you're looking for a divorce lawyer, visit Harold Salant Strassfield & Spielberg.Share
26 August 2015
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