Marriages can end for many reasons; infidelity, stress, personality changes, and finances. Divorce can be difficult for children and extended family and devastating to your finances and assets that you've accumulated together. Couples participate in financial planning, personal budgets, and savings and spending plans when marriages are going well. It is vital to continue financial planning for yourself now while starting the divorce process and after your marriage ends.

Financial professionals can assist you with divorce planning and discuss with both spouses (at the same meeting if amicable) the adverse effects of fighting over assets. Divorce can be a significant financial event making it vital to plan appropriate asset distribution strategies for both spouses to avoid financial loss. They will review tax, insurance, retirement, and other areas of knowledge within their specific application for divorce. Here's the list of financial information you need to gather as you start divorce planning:

Financial information:

  • Two to three years of personal tax returns
  • Bank statements
  • HSA information
  • Business tax returns- if applicable
  • Retirement savings account statements- 401(k), Roth IRA
  • Investment account statements- individual and joint
  • Stock certificates
  • Life insurance policies
  • Disability insurance policies
  • Homeowners, auto, and umbrella insurance policies
  • Long-term care insurance policies
  • Credit card statements
  • Loan information

Legal documents:

  • Your will
  • Your estate plan
  • Power of Attorney (POA) documents
  • Advanced Healthcare Directives

Personal property:

  • Primary homes, vacation homes, and acreage
  • Investment properties
  • Cars, ATVs, and recreational vehicles
  • Antiques, art, jewelry, and collectibles
  • Tools, firearms, recreational equipment (camping or sports gear)
  • Safety deposit box contents
  • Family photos or other items of significant sentimental value
  • Household items

If you can successfully plan for your divorce without fighting over assets, you as a couple can both win. You win by keeping the assets you acquired before your marriage intact as you work toward dividing them as you start your single lives financially secure. While financial professionals don't work through the legal asset division or the legal process, they can help you prepare your financial information for your legal professionals.