Most people feel stressed about the prospect of divorce. Filing for divorce means the end of one’s life as they know it, on top of ending a years-long intimate relationship that may involve children. With all that tension bearing down on a person, people look for help wherever they can find it.

To help ease the stress of divorce, spouses can get ahead of the game by preparing their financial documents. A court must examine all of a couple’s assets before negotiating property division, so proper planning can help speed things up and improve one’s standing in the eyes of the court.

Financial document checklist

Courts require extensive documentation that prove asset ownership before attempting to divide property between spouses. Spouses can hire an attorney familiar with Ohio divorce law to help locate, organize and present the following financial documents:

  • Income, finances and debt: Courts will need transparency into each spouse’s finances, including income and state tax returns, pay stubs, royalties received, return on investments, mutual funds, etc. Include data on losses and debts, as well.
  • Business records: Spouses must provide information on business dealings, both joint and separate. Provide ledgers, expense reports and tax information.
  • Inventory of personal assets: To accurately and equitably distribute property, the courts must know how much the couple owns and its value. Include property tax returns, deeds, appraisals, vehicle titles, rental and lease agreements, contracts, insurance policies, and the contents and location of all safety deposit boxes.
  • Records of legal cases: Courts must know of any legal injunctions against either spouse, both present and past, including any damages owed or paid.
  • Relevant estate planning documents: Estate planning documents will require amendments during and after the divorce. Include copies of documents like wills, trust agreements, pensions, 401(k) accounts, power of attorney, etc.

Lawyers can help locate and organize divorce documents

Those overwhelmed by the prospect of divorce with a large estate can bring their questions to a lawyer familiar with Ohio’s divorce statutes. An attorney can help file suit, locate documents and fight for their client’s rights.