Women ending a marriage in Pennsylvania have many things to consider. If there are significant personal or professional assets involved, one of the main things to consider is finances. Women in this situation are typically advised to gather certain important documents before officially untying the knot.
The first essential documents are tax returns. The general recommendation is for a divorcing spouse to collect tax returns for the past three years. This includes W-2s and other supporting documentation. Tax information from any privately held businesses should be included as well, especially if personal expenses are paid through such companies. These figures help determine a woman’s future benefits post-divorce.
A lifestyle analysis is a type of document that’s meant to increase a woman’s understanding of her recurring expenses and debt obligations before and after a divorce. One way to gather this data is with online expense tracking tools that pull financial info from bank and credit accounts. Prior spending can also be verified with a review of two to three years’ worth of financial statements. This type of detailed analysis identifies historical spending and anticipates future expenses. A net worth statement is a related document that shows totals for income, expenses, assets and liabilities. These details are typically used to present an accurate financial affidavit to the court so that the current financial status of both parties can be determined. It can also be beneficial for any investment and employer-based retirement account details to be included.
A family law lawyer may also recommend that a divorcing client get an updated credit report to identify existing liabilities and joint accounts that should be closed. An attorney sometimes consults with a forensic accountant or professional appraiser if a divorcing spouse wants to look for possible hidden assets or get an accurate value for jointly owned, hard-to-value items like artwork or collectables.