What Documents Should I Prepare for Divorce?


Preparing As Much Ahead of Time

Divorce requires a lot of time and energy, and part of that time and energy is spent putting together the necessary paperwork for the process and gathering important documents with key information. While no two divorces are the same, many of them involve similar documents. Here are some key documents that you should prepare ahead of time for a divorce.

Financial Documents

Because part of the early stages of divorce involves putting together a list of assets and debts, you should start preparing documents related to your finances. These documents can include the following specific statements:

  • Income tax documents, including tax returns, W-2s, and documents outlining other sources of income

  • Bank statements

  • Credit card statements

  • Retirement account statements (including 401(k) statements and IRA statements)

  • Brokerage account statements

  • Documents detailing anything in digital wallets (such as cryptocurrencies or non-fungible tokens)

Be advised that you can also prepare documents that detail information related to your spouse’s finances.

Documents Showing Ownership

Many assets such as cars or real estate cannot be transferred to another party without the official paperwork proving ownership. You can gather these important documents in advance of a divorce, and these documents may include the following:

  • Vehicle titles and registration (including cars, boats, or other motor vehicles)

  • Real estate titles

  • Documents showing ownership of a collectible, piece of jewelry, or other tangible assets

If there is any debt attached to these assets, you should be prepared to disclose that information as well.

Documents Related to Personal Information

Your divorce attorney may point you toward gathering documents displaying personal information that you may need at some point in the future. These documents may include the following:

  • Marriage certificate

  • Birth certificates

  • Social Security cards

  • Driver’s license or other proof of identification

Ask Questions If You Are Unsure

If you don’t know where to begin, be sure to ask your attorney how you should best proceed. At Schweitzer Law Partners, our team is prepared to help you work through your divorce at any point in the process, whether you are beginning to gather paperwork or are trying to work out a settlement.

Call us today at (626) 788-5225 to schedule an appointment with a member of our Pasadena family law team. You can also visit our website to learn more information about divorce in California.