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4 documents you need when you prep for divorce

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You probably never thought your marriage would end in divorce, but this is a common experience for many. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in 2018, 782,038 divorces occurred in the U.S. 

Even though divorce is common, you may not feel confident about what steps to take next. You can prepare yourself for the process by collecting these four following types of documentation. 

1. Paycheck stubs

Make copies of your paycheck stubs from all sources of employment from the previous year. If you are self-employed, collect any tax or business forms that represent your income. If you can, you should also collect your spouse’s paycheck stubs from this same period of time. 

2. Business expense documentation

If either you or your spouse run a business, collect relevant documentation relating to any operational expenses. For instance, gather copies of bank statements, payment receipts, canceled checks, check registers and profit and loss statements. 

3. Tax returns

Before your move into divorce settlement proceedings, locate copies of your individual or joint tax returns from the past three years, at a minimum. You should have copies of both your federal and state returns. 

4. Statements of net worth

You should gather any documentation or information that can help you establish your net worth as well as your spouse’s net worth. These documents can include mortgage statements, bank statements, statements from investment accounts and statements from life insurance policies. As part of this, you should also locate copies of documents related to marital debts. 

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