The First Step to a Favorable Settlement: Collecting Financial Information


The first step in a divorce process – and one of the most critical –  is getting all your financial information in order. This information serves as the foundation for your case, and will help best substantiate your position at the bargaining table. Therefore, you must make sure it is complete and up to date.

However, gathering all these financial documents can be overwhelming. It can be especially so if you’re among the 70% of spouses not responsible for your family’s financial affairs during the marriage. In this common situation, even figuring out where to begin can leave you feeling paralyzed.

How do you get started and ultimately gain the advantage? You prepare. You begin the process as early as possible, and you consider partnering with a divorce financial planner to point you in the right direction. A divorce financial planner will help alleviate stress from the get-go as well as guide you as to what information you need, where to find it, and how to secure it. With the right documents in hand, a divorce financial planner will help you gain a thorough understanding of your financial profile.


Information Checklist

While every divorce is unique, below are a few of the more important financial documents Coastal Divorce Advisors recommends securing early in the process: 

  • Tax returns for the past 3 years
  • Payroll stubs for the past 12 months
  • Investment account statements
  • Savings account statements
  • Checking account statements
  • Retirement account statements (IRA, Roth IRA, SEP, etc.)
  • Summary Plan Description (SPD) for all pension plans and defined benefit plans
  • Social Security statements 
  • Loan and credit card statements
  • Life insurance policies and declarations page 


With precise and thorough financial details in your pocket, along with the guidance of a divorce financial planner, you’ll be able to confidently and accurately navigate the divorce process toward a more favorable settlement.  

We are here to help. Contact Coastal Divorce Advisors.