Every state is different when it comes to financial disclosures that must be made in your divorce case.  In North Carolina, the disclosures that are required depend in large part on what type of relief is being requested.  Where Child Support is at issue, one set of documents is required, where spousal support is at issue, another set of documents must be provided, and when you must divide up property and debts, a whole other list of documents must be provided.  In an effort to streamline the amount of paperwork that must be provided, I generally ask my clients to provide the following documents, at a minimum:

  • Deeds and deeds of trust for all real property
  • Bank statements for 6 months
  • Last two years tax returns (personal and business)
  • Last 2 years financial statements (personal and business)
  • Copies of all life insurance polices
  • Documentation from life insurance companies stating cash value
  • All credit card statements for 6 months
  • Year to date paystubs or other verification of current earnings
  • Property tax listings for past 2 years (business and personal)
  • Documentation showing balances in all IRA accounts
  • Documentation from employer identifying the type of retirement benefits and whether or not you are vested including the summary plan description and benefits statement
  • Documentation of the account balances of defined contribution retirement plans (401(k) savings plans, etc.) for the past year
  • Documentation of the cost for health and dental insurance, itemizing the cost for spouse and children
  • Copies of titles to vehicles
  • Documentation from all banks or other lending institutions stating the balances owed  (business and personal)
  • Copies of all stock certificates
  • Copies of any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
  • Copies of any previous separation agreements, property settlement agreements, and orders relating to your marriage

Every once in awhile, I get a client who wants to give me only the front page of their checking, savings, investment or credit card statements, and leave out the transaction history.  It is vitally important that the complete statement is produced, for several reasons.

  1. If you don’t produce it now, your spouse’s attorney will probably request it later
  2. Complete statements help to justify and explain expenses in your financial affidavit
  3. Transactions in these statements can uncover potentially harmful expenses that could indicate marital misconduct or other problems/secrets

The bottom line is that you need to begin preparing for your divorce early, and gather your documents in an orderly fashion.  The more complete your disclosures, the easier your case will be to resolve.