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Access to financial records important for divorce proceedings

Unfortunately, divorce affects numerous couples across the country every year, including a significant number here in Georgia. While no one enters a marriage expecting a divorce later, it happens and being prepared for all aspects of divorce proceedings is important. Discussing money and property is a leading cause of contention between divorcing couples. Having access to all financial records and proof of property values may come in handy when establishing fair property division agreements.

Reviewing all assets will give each spouse an idea of their current financial position and an idea of what their post divorce financial outlook may be. Gaining access to all this information may not be easy though. Some couples may have records for all financial accounts and valuable property in their homes or stored somewhere for safe keeping. Others may need to request statements from banks, employers, financial advisors and attorneys. For spouses who haven't been overly involved in marital finances this can be quite a feat, but it isn't impossible.

Every couple's financial situation is different, but a few basic documents spouses should be prepared with include bank statements, life insurance policies, retirements account statements, tax returns and property appraisals. Documents for any other assets would also be good to have. Making and keeping copies of all of these and any other valuable information can help couples ensure all assets are accounted for when it comes time to negotiate property division.

Divorce isn't easy, especially when it comes to dividing assets. Being prepared with all necessary property information in order to negotiate a fair settlement -- or litigate if required -- will help move the process along and ensure all marital assets are included in the terms. Georgia spouses who are facing divorce can certainly help protect their future interests by taking the time to gather this information.

Source: The Spectrum, "Facing divorce? Organize finances now", Dustin Schofield, Sept. 12, 2014

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