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Essential Financial Documents Checklist for Divorce Proceedings

The emotional toll of divorce can be immense, but the financial fallout can be just as devastating. By planning ahead financially during the divorce process, you can ease some of the stress and feel more empowered throughout this emotional rollercoaster.

Even the most amicable split can feel like an emotional and logistical rollercoaster. The paperwork, dividing finances, and the sheer time commitment can leave you feeling drained.

Purposeful Wealth Advisors can help you approach this phase of your life with more control and confidence. We are committed to provide our clients with the financial clarity they need before the legal divorce proceedings begin. 

Gathering essential documents for divorce can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Here is our free comprehensive checklist to ensure you have everything you need for a smoother financial transition.

General Financial Documents

Financial disagreements are a common source of stress during divorce. By gathering detailed records of your shared finances early on, you can lay the groundwork for a more amicable and efficient property division. Here’s a list of documents to gather for a smoother financial settlement:

  1. Income Documents:
  • Pay stubs: Most recent pay stubs covering the period since your last tax return.
  • Tax returns: Copies of your most recent tax returns (individual and joint, if applicable).
  • Self-employment income: Documentation for income from self-employment, including profit and loss statements and invoices.
  • Investment income: Statements for investment accounts showing dividends, interest, and capital gains.
  • Rental income: Lease agreements and records of rental income received.
  • Other income: Documentation for any other income sources, such as royalties, lottery winnings, or social security benefits.
  1. Employment Documents:
  • Employment contracts: This outlines your base salary, bonuses, and any other compensation details.
  • Benefits statements: Statements detailing your health insurance, retirement plans, stock options, etc.
  • Company car policies: Documentation outlining any company-provided vehicle, including its value and any usage restrictions.
  • Other fringe benefits: Records or documentation related to other benefits, such as travel allowances, club memberships (country clubs, gyms), educational reimbursement, vacation pay, severance packages, and any unusual benefits.
  1. Banking Documents:
  • Checking and Credit Card Statements: From the past one-three years.
  1. Retirement Account Statements:

This includes statements for all your retirement plans from the past one-three years, such as:

  • Employer-sponsored plans: 401(k), 403(b), 412(e)(3), 457 plans
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs): Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP-IRA
  • Government and military plans: Military retirement benefits, pensions
  • Self-employed plans: Keogh plans
  1. Tax Documents:

Your income tax returns and related forms offer a valuable snapshot of your financial history.  To ensure a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation, gather the following for the past three-five years:

  • Federal tax returns: Copies of your most recent individual and joint tax returns (if applicable).
  • W-2 forms: Wage and tax statements from all employers for each year.
  • 1099 forms: These report income from various sources, including:
  • 1099-INT: Interest income from banks and other institutions.
  • 1099-DIV: Dividends from stocks and mutual funds.
  • 1099-G: Unemployment benefits or government refunds.
  • (There are other 1099 forms for specific income types; consult with a tax advisor if needed).
  • K-1 forms: If you hold ownership in a partnership, S corporation, or trust, you’ll need these forms.
  1. Other Financial Documents:
  • Brokerage statements
  • Statements for any other stocks, bonds, and mutual funds held in your name or jointly
  • Wills and trust agreements, powers of attorney (if any)
  • Life and general insurance policies
  • List of safe deposit box contents
  • Business documents 

Work with Us 

Gathering all these documents on your own could be quite hectic and frustrating, but we at Purposeful Wealth Advisors can help you streamline the process. Not sure how to get this paperwork done? 

Give us a call today and let’s accomplish this mission together.