First, every woman who is planning to get divorced should obtain the most recent three years of tax returns from her family’s tax preparer. If this is not possible, she should complete an IRS Form 4506. Tax returns show a family’s income and, in the case of business ownership, expenses.
She should also obtain a net worth statement, a document that tallies a couple’s financial responsibilities, liabilities and assets. A net worth statement will be helpful when it comes time for the court to decide how assets will be divided, and it also prevents the other spouse from hiding assets and investments.
Finally, the divorcing spouse should obtain a lifestyle analysis by using an online expense tracker. Mint.com is one example of an online expense tracker that allows users to link bank accounts and credit cards to build an accurate picture of a family’s financial situation. This can help prevent unpleasant surprises such as joint credit card debt from popping up after the divorce.
Before a woman files for a divorce, she may consider consulting an experienced attorney. An attorney may be able to provide important advice before the spouse files for a divorce, leading to a more secure financial future. For example, an attorney may be able to help make sure a woman has all the right documents on hand prior to making anything official.