Documents needed to prepare for divorce

Women in California who are considering divorce should first gather some financial documents. Having information means being prepared, and this will be important when heading into a divorce. First, a wife should get copies of her tax returns for the past three years. This will show the couple's income.

Next, she should get as much information as possible about her spending habits. Three years of bank and credit card statements can help in reviewing expenses. There are online software programs that can be linked to accounts and assist in categorizing this information as well. This will be important when moving into the next stage, which is creating a lifestyle analysis. A lifestyle analysis takes a realistic look at all expenditures and predicts expenses for after the divorce. A financial professional may be able to help with some of these calculations. The analysis should be as accurate as possible, keeping in mind that the low inflation rate does not account for large cost increases in some areas, such as health care.

A net worth statement is another document that can be prepared to show assets and liabilities. A full financial accounting will need to be submitted to the court by both spouses, and this may involve locating collectibles, investments and other assets.

Dividing property can be one of the most complicated elements of divorce and family law. If a California couple has not signed a prenuptial agreement, most of the assets either partner acquired during the marriage will be subject to equal division. There are a few exceptions to this, such as inheritances as long as they are kept separate from the family finances. However, the couple might have to negotiate the division of collections, real estate, retirement accounts and other assets.

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