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Get your financial picture in order during a divorce.


Gathering your financial documents to prepare for divorce should include at least the following items:

• Federal/state/gift/intangible personal property tax returns from the last three years

• Forms W-2, 1099 and K-1 from the past year

• Three months of recent pay stubs

• Specified loan applications, deeds and lease agreements

• Bank account statements, including checking, savings and credit cards

• Retirement plans

• Life insurance

This is a good start at what is needed.  If you don't know what your assets are, a good place to start is the checking account.  Many entries into the checking account can lead to discovery of what real estate and other assets are owned.  Insurance policies can lead to what other assets may be valuable since they would not be insured if they were worth protecting.  Everyone should have access to their own tax returns and if not, as a spouse who is signed on the tax return, you can request a copy.  This can lead to investment accounts and where funds are held for retirement.  Any dividends that are reported as income can lead back to the source of the asset.  

By gathering this information before meeting with your attorney, you can save money in legal fees.  If the attorney feels that they have the discovery of adequate financial documents, they can proceed in setting a temporary hearing.  At a temporary hearing, spousal support, possession of the house and child support can be set.  Having these documents beforehand speeds up that process.  If an attorney has no documents reflecting the financial information, it can be subpoenaed or discovery requests can be sent to the opposing party.  This takes more time.  So having the required information can speed up the time it takes to get your financial relief started sooner.  Plus the opposing party cannot deny what assets there are to draw from if the information is provided prior to the temporary hearing.  

Most clients seeking a divorce have an urgent concern for financial relief before they even file for divorce.  The household funds are co-mingled together which means that upon filing for divorce, their access may be limited or disappear.  If this information is handy at the first stage of filing for divorce, these concerns can be addressed rather quickly.  We have great resources at our site at

In either case, discovery of a couple's financial picture can be investigated and proven.  It may take more time if you are relying upon the attorney to discovery all of the assets since there are timelines of which the other party has to respond to such requests.  In the divorce process the entire financial picture should come into play and be adequately laid out for everyone to discuss.  This allows a more fair distribution to each spouse. It also allows each party to know what their post divorce financial picture will look like.  Their retirement analysis will come from what they receive in the divorce.  Consult an attorney today if you need help discovering what your financial assets are made up of.  Also, you might not think that you have a right to some financial asset that you actually may have a vested interest in.  Calling an attorney to discuss your options is a good place to start.  Call us today (205)623-1001.

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The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC

826 Columbiana Road
Birmingham, AL 35209

Phone: (205) 623-1001
Fax: (205) 874-9481

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The attorneys and staff at The Zwiebel Law Firm look forward to finding resolution to each client’s case. We anticipate every step and keep our client’s informed of expectations.

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