Financial Checklist For Divorce: What Do You Need to Prepare

Financial Checklist For Divorce: What Do You Need to Prepare

Divorce is a serious step that will change your life drastically. With each major impact on your property, custody, and other rights, the marriage termination can severely shudder your personal economic stability. Here you have a way out – get prepared properly. One – you will be ready for any outcomes, financial and others, the divorce prepares for you. Two – you will prevent making mistakes and taking wrong turns and affecting your own wellness as a result.

The primary thing for you to do here is to create a financial checklist for divorce and follow it so that you don’t miss any significant documents and information for your successful divorce case. You can start on your own and come with a pack of docs to your attorney already or get a specialist involved from the very beginning. Review the quick list of papers and data to collect down below and reach out to an experienced attorney when necessary for beneficial aftermath.

1. Income and Expense Statements

You should better start the process before filing for divorce in California online to assess your situation clearly and gather all docs related to your personal finances turnaround. This means you need to collect papers and data to show where you get and how you spend your money. It may include the most recent pay stubs, tax returns, and more for both you and your spouse to have a clear picture of your income and expense situation.

2. Bank Account Statements

Another docs stack that will reflect your financial situation and perspectives best is bank account statements. Here you may be expected to provide either to your own attorney or your opponent’s all possible statements covering but not limited to checking, savings, and investment accounts.

Income statementsGather income statements for both you and your spouse. This should include pay stubs, W-2 forms, and tax returns for the past few years.
Asset inventoryMake an inventory of all the assets you and your spouse own, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment portfolios, real estate, and personal property.
Debt inventoryMake an inventory of all the debts you and your spouse owe, including mortgages, car loans, credit card debt, and other loans.
ValuationsHave all assets and debts valued, including real estate, investments, and other assets. This will help determine how assets and debts will be divided during the divorce.
BudgetCreate a budget for your post-divorce life. This should include all expenses, including housing, utilities, transportation, food, and other living expenses.
Insurance policiesReview all insurance policies, including health, life, and disability insurance, and determine how they will be handled after the divorce.
Retirement accountsReview all retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions, and determine how they will be divided during the divorce.
Business interestsIf you or your spouse own a business, it’s important to have it valued and determine how it will be divided during the divorce.
Joint accountsIf you have joint accounts with your spouse, such as bank accounts or credit cards, consider how they will be divided or closed after the divorce.
Alimony and child supportDetermine whether alimony and/or child support will be paid and how much. This will be based on income, assets, and other factors, and may require the assistance of a lawyer or financial advisor.
Estate planningReview your estate planning documents, such as wills and trusts, and update them to reflect your new situation after the divorce.

3. Retirement Accounts

Financial Checklist For Divorce: What Do You Need to Prepare

You should also include retirement account reports on your financial checklist for divorce. The situation here may have a direct impact on you receiving or paying spousal support to your spouse, or even getting or giving away a share of each other’s pension funds. Mind having at hand all related docs to retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and pension plans.

4. Real Estate Documents

Property division will be maximally equitable and beneficial for you if you provide full information on the real estate that you own alone or together with your partner. Collect mortgage statements, deeds, and property tax bills to prove the ownership and maintenance of any place you have a relation to. Consider that if you have a marital home, it will be approached separately from any other piece of real estate in the process of property distribution. So that you can order the relevant papers in a separate folder.

5. Insurance Policies

Insurance policies are another must to add to your financial checklist for divorce. The divorce may end in you giving away a policy share to your ex or covering their policy or vice versa. So care to come ready with the following documents – health, life, and disability insurance – to guarantee you and your former partner have your basic needs covered and life secured after marriage termination. 

6. Debt Statements

Your personal debts will hardly be ordered for your partner to cover but they will impact the picture of your personal economic stability and have an effect on different divorce processes and judgments therefore. This means it is necessary to gather all possible data and papers on your debts, covering credit cards, mortgages, and personal loans.

7. Business Ownership

If you are a business owner or a stakeholder, it adds extra burden and procedures to your marriage termination process. But if you want the maximum fair outcomes for your business, care to provide business financial statements, tax returns, and other related papers. Plus, it is highly recommended to cooperate with a financial advisor for divorce involving a business to mitigate any risks and negative outcomes for you in the end. Mind to pick out an expert with relevant experience.

8. Estate Planning Documents

Any documents that include your plans for the future of your property should be also added to the divorce case. You may want to update them beforehand. But in any case, you need to include your wills, trusts, and powers on the attorney to reveal your intentions on your property and ownership. Yet, considering the divorce outcomes you may need to update the papers again after the end of all procedures.   

9. Social Security Information

Financial Checklist For Divorce: What Do You Need to Prepare

You should also consider social security information when compiling a financial planning checklist for divorce. This is about the social benefits you retrieve and all the related documents. They will help to create a clearer picture of your needs and economic situation for the final divorce decree to be maximally equitable.

10. Joint Accounts and Debts

It is better if you quit and close any joint accounts and debts with your spouse before you file for divorce. But if you have no possibility to apply the recommendation, care to collect all the relevant documents anyway.  This will guarantee you will present the real situation on joint accounts and debts and keep your spouse involved as long as necessary.

When gathering the documents from your checklist, it is vital to remember you need to keep them well-organized and secure. Get paper and digital copies of all the docs and data you collect. Store everything neatly ordered and locked both online and offline. Get only a trusted person, preferably your attorney, to know where to find the papers and information.


Preparing for divorce may be overwhelming. You have plenty of things to do and information to collect. Creating and following a checklist of financial documents and information you need to gather will optimize the process. If you are at a loss for where to start, what to add to your list, and how to handle the collected data, start with ready-made divorce financial documents and information. You can also ask your lawyer for support and guidance on the issue to avoid common mistakes and keep everything organized and efficient.

Bibliography ► (March 20, 2023). Financial Checklist For Divorce: What Do You Need to Prepare. Recovered from