Gathering financial documents is key in any divorce filing. These records will tell the financial story of your marriage in a way your or your spouse’s word alone cannot.
Your East Brunswick divorce lawyer will need this official documentation because in many ways, ink doesn’t lie.
Your files should be as well-organized as possible, reducing confusion for both you and your lawyer as you prepare to begin the first phase of negotiations.
Courts Require Forthright Disclosure
In New Jersey, the court will require you to submit a “Family Part Case Information Statement,” pursuant to Rules 1:38(d)(1) and 5:5-2(f).
This document specifically states in bold lettering, “It is extremely important that the Case Information Statement be as accurate as possible because you are required to certify that the contents of the form are true.”
It further explains that these records help to establish your lifestyle – an important consideration when deciding any alimony/spousal support and/or child support.
Dividing property and determining support payments are among the most contentious aspects of any divorce, so being prepared is in your best interest. It’s also likely to save you some money if you can gather essential legal and financial documents prior to your initial consultation with a New Jersey divorce lawyer.
Due diligence, preparation and honesty will help your case long-term.
Relevant Financial Records in New Jersey Divorce
The court will likely need to review a host of documents to make a fair determination in your case.
Some of these records include:
- Pay stubs from all sources of employment in the last calendar year. This includes pay stubs for both you and your spouse. Income tax returns or other tax records/business forms will suffice if you are self-employed.
- Business expenses. If either of you are self-employed, records of business-related expenses that might include financial statements, profit-and-loss records, payment receipts, bank records, canceled checks – all of this will be relevant.
- Joint and individual tax returns. Gather these – federal and state – for both of you for the last three years.
- Statements of net worth. These are typically prepared anytime either of you are trying to secure a bank loan.
- Real estate records. This will include any documents that show real estate you owned separately or jointly. That could be mortgage statements, original purchase records, refinancing records and any statements from tax assessor regarding real property.
- Investment account records. These could be accounts that you hold either together or individually.
- Bank statements. This would include any and all records from both you and your spouse going back at least the last couple years.
- Bankruptcy or foreclosure records. These will factor into equitable distribution calculations.
- Life insurance policy records. Any life insurance policies taken out for you, your spouse or your children – including any loans taken against these accounts – need to be presented.
- Debts. If you have any outstanding medical expenses, loans, credit card bills in your and/or your spouse’s name, these should be presented to your divorce attorney. Best to itemize this list as best you can.
- Vehicle registration and title. Any cars, trucks, farm equipment, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, scooters or snowmobiles – have the registration for each handy. If you still owe on these vehicles, present those monthly payment records and/or automated payment schedules.
- Retirement fund records. This would include any documents pertaining to 401K plans, pension funds, IRAs or mutual funds.
This list isn’t necessarily exhaustive.
If you have any additional questions about the records that might be necessary to initiate the divorce process in New Jersey, our dedicated family law attorneys are ready to help.
To learn more about filing for divorce in New Jersey, contact Rozin | Golinder Law today at (732) 810-0034.