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How to prepare for the divorce settlement

Most people going through divorce in Arizona experience a range of emotions and how their divorce will impact their children, where they live and their finances. One way to reduce the stress divorce can cause is to understand the way divorce will impact your finances and what documents you should have in order before starting the divorce process.

The financial implications of divorce can be complex and downright confusing in some cases. That is why it is important for individuals to collect and gather their financial documents before the divorce to reduce the stress as well as save time and money in the long run.

In most divorce cases in Arizona, both spouses will need to disclose their financial situations and produce their financial documents during the divorce proceedings. One of the main documents the divorce will require is a financial affidavit. A financial affidavit states your earnings, expenses, assets and liabilities.

What documents are helpful and sometimes required for the financial affidavit? Individuals getting divorced should be sure to collect and make copies of their federal and state tax returns, W-2 and other tax forms, recent pay stubs, checking, saving and credit card account statements, retirement account plans, life insurance plans, and any loans or lease applications.

These documents will help during the divorce proceedings by providing a clear picture of your finances and hopefully reduce the stress involved in discussing and negotiating the divorce settlement. In addition to having these documents on hand, couples who may have collectibles or other assets that may be high in value should have an appraisal done to document the value of these items for the divorce proceedings.

Preparing and going through the divorce settlement process is not easy but proper planning and understanding of how the process works will benefit everyone in the long run.

Source: US News, "How to Get Your Finances in Order Before a Divorce," Daniel Bortz, May 17, 2013

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