Law Office of Daniel E. Forrest, P.A.

Individuals in Florida who are thinking about divorce may wish to start by organizing financial paperwork. Having a complete picture of debts and assets is an important first step in understanding how those assets will need to be divided. Furthermore, an individual who is able to gather as much financial information as possible at the outset will be better equipped to determine whether a spouse may be trying to conceal assets during a divorce.

Even when a split is amicable, organizing finances first will make the entire process run more smoothly. This process may take some time, as it may be necessary to obtain documents from sources as diverse as employers, banks, accountants and more.

An individual should first gather information on all bank accounts held both jointly and individually as well as any records about the home and mortgage. Life insurance documents, retirement accounts and pension accounts are also important. Individuals would also benefit from making a list of valuables and gathering information on vehicles and property such as vacation homes, boats and any other recreational property. Individuals with real estate, stock and mutual fund investments should gather that paperwork as well as paperwork for any businesses owned. It is also necessary to have tax documents for the past two years.

Property division during a divorce can be complex, but gathering the relevant documents ahead of time can help. As the documents are assembled, they should be copied and kept in a safe place such as a safety deposit box or an attorney's office. Whether the asset division during a divorce is straightforward or complicated, an attorney may be helpful in negotiating the terms of the split.

Source: Ahwatukee Foothills News, "Facing divorce? Organize your finances now", Kim DeVoss, July 23, 2014

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