Divorce is an emotional event.

The following is a checklist to help you get started pulling together your financial, legal and tax information. Gather as much of this information prior to separating as possible, as you may have difficulty retrieving it after the separation occurs.  This checklist is an example, and may not be everything you will need in your particular case.

Keepsakes and other items you are attached to and cannot replace

  • Move them to a secure location
  • Document their condition with photos
  • Keep a list of what you removed from the home

Minor Children

  • Child’s full name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Where the child has lived for the past 6 months

Marriage Information

  • Date of Marriage
  • City and State where you were married
  • Determine if this is a covenant marriage
  • Date of Separation (if you and you spouse have already separated)
  • Address of the last residence you lived together as husband and wife


You should gather the following documents, copy and keep them in a place that you can access if you are suddenly prohibited from returning to your home:

  • Copies of titles or registrations for motor vehicles (you may need the VIN #. model, year, mileage and a general idea of the vehicle’s condition to determine values)
  • Deeds, bills of sale for significant items such as cars, 4 wheelers, real estate (including legal descriptions), boats,
  • Bank Account numbers and balances
  • Investment account numbers and balances, including copies of portfolios
  • Retirement accounts, including retirement and pension accounts through an employer
  • Health Savings accounts
  • Mortgages and balances
  • Stock Option Statements
  • Frequent Flyer Miles Statements
  • Credit card statements showing recent balances/ account numbers

If there is a business involved:

  • Tax returns for the business including any K-1s for the past 5 years
  • Shareholder/member agreements
  • Balance sheets for the last 5 years
  • Identify where the business banks- get account numbers
  • Identify the CPA firm that handles the books  (this may be included in the tax return)
  • Employment contracts and non-compete agreements

Documents concerning the income of both you and your spouse:

  • Tax returns AT LEAST the last 5 years
  • A recent paystub
  • Employment contracts and covenants not to compete
  • K-1s
  • 1099s

Other Assets;

  • Lists of home furnishings, artwork, jewelry.  Photograph if possible.
  • Appraisals of any items of value if they have been done in the past
  • Life insurance policies with policy numbers

Prior legal documents

  • Prenuptial or marital agreements
  • Prior divorce documents
  • Wills
  • Powers of attorney
  • Trust documents

Debts  List all the debts and get up to date account balances.

  • Credit cards
  • Bank loans
  • Student loans
  • Auto loan/lease payments
  • Mortgages/home equity loans

Inventory any safety deposit boxes-photograph or copy the contents.

Organize your lists into three sections: 1)  Items you owned/owed prior to the marriage; 2) items your spouse owned/owed prior to the marriage; 3) items accumulated and debts incurred during the marriage.