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Financial Documents To Collect For Divorce Mediation

Thursday, April, 24, 2014

When you start a divorce process, there are a number of documents that you’ll want to collect for your reference. You’ll also need them for your mediator and attorney and ultimately for your spouse.

Collecting this information for some people is just a matter of finding the right file in the right filing cabinet. For others, this can feel like a daunting task. We have had reluctant clients who, once finished, actually appreciated the “opportunity” to get things organized.

Consider the following list to get you started:

  1. Tax returns (state and federal) for past 2-3 years.
  2. Social Security statements. These used to be mailed to you but you can now request them online.
  3. Pre-nuptial and/or marital agreements.
  4. Revocable and irrevocable trusts.
  5. Employer health benefit rate sheet.
  6. Real estate. For each real estate interest:
    1. Deed
    2. Purchase price
    3. Most recent tax assessment
    4. Most recent property tax bill
    5. For each mortgage/deed of trust including any HELOC:
      1. Promissory note.
      2. Deed of trust or mortgage (which one will depend on your state).
      3. Most recent mortgage statement.
    6. Most recent appraisal.
    7. Insurance policy declaration page and premium statement.
  7. Vehicles (cars, boats, planes, trailers). For each vehicle:
    1. Official state title.
    2. Date of purchase.
    3. If your borrowed money to purchase it and it’s not paid in full, a copy of the promissory note and most recent statement.
    4. Kelly Blue Book valuation printout from
    5. NADA valuation printout from
    6. Auto insurance declaration page and premium statement.
  8. Bank accounts. For each bank account:
    1. Most recent bank statement.
    2. If known, the date the account was opened.
    3. If the statement is unclear, the type of account (checking, savings, etc.).
  9. Brokerage accounts. For each brokerage account:
    1. Most recent brokerage statement.
    2. Most recent end-of-year statement.
    3. Any information that might help you determine your “basis” in each asset (how much you paid for it).
  10. Annuities. For each annuity plan (these are unusual):
    1. Information describing contribution schedule and payout schedule.
    2. Recent statement showing the “cash balance” or “surrender value”.
  11. Stock options. For each stock option grant:
    1. Number of options.
    2. How many options are vested and unvested.
    3. Date of grant.
    4. Vesting schedule.
    5. Current valuation information (if available).
    6. Information on the tax treatment of the grant at the time of the grant.
  12. Life insurance. For each life insurance policy:
    1. Declaration page showing insured person and beneficiary(ies).
    2. Most recent statement.
    3. If an employer sponsored plan, statement of benefits.
  13. Business interest detail. For each business ownership interest:
    1. Articles of incorporation or partnership agreement.
    2. Shareholders’ agreement.
    3. Balance sheets for past 2-3 years.
    4. Profit and loss statements for past 2-3 years.
    5. Tax returns (Form 1120, Schedule C, K1, etc.) for past 2-3 years.
  14. College tuition plans. For each college tuition account:
    1. Document showing “owner”, “contingent owner” and “beneficiary”.
    2. Most recent account statement.
  15. Credit and charge accounts. For each credit card or other charge account:
    1. Most recent account statement.
    2. Summary of what the debt is related to such as household daily expenses, emergency, kids’ camps, etc.
  16. Other debts. For each other debt:
    1. Most recent account statement
    2. Summary of what the debt relates to such as business start-up, loan from friend for an emergency, etc.
  17. IRAs. For each IRA:
    1. Most recent account statement showing type (e.g., “Rollover”, “SEP”, “Roth”) and balance.
    2. Date when IRA was opened.
    3. Most recent year-end statement.
  18. Other “Defined Contribution” plans. For each plan such as a 401(k), 403(b), TSP, etc.:
    1. Summary plan description (SPD). These are available from your employer. (You won’t need one for a TSP.)
    2. Most recent account statement.
  19. Pensions. For each pension plan:
    1. Summary plan description (SPD) available from employer.
    2. Most recent account statement.
  20. Employment. For each employer:
    1. Most recent 3 paycheck stubs or leave and earning statements.
    2. Most recent W2.

This list is fairly comprehensive, but whether some of this is needed or whether additional information is needed depends on your circumstances and on your state.

If there are other documents you think would be helpful to add to the list, let us know and we’ll keep it updated.

Daniel R. Burk, President
Resolution Point LLC
(703) 668-0344