Law Offices of
Brian I. Tatarian
~Attorney At Law~

Family law attorney
Serving Fresno Since 1979

Preparing for Divorce or Legal Separation

When preparing for a divorce (dissolution of marriage) or legal separation, it is necessary to know the full nature and extent of the community assets and obligation, as well as obtain verification of any separate property, so that proper disclosures can be made, and information available in the event the case proceeds to Trial to present as evidence. Financial information, not only with regard to the income of the parties, but also whether a spouse pays support for any other children or relationships is necessary as well.

The information necessary for your case to proceed includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Purchase and refinance information for residence or other real property; Deeds for real property; current mortgage statement for real property. If a party is claiming a separate property interest in the residence or other real property, confirmation of the source of the monies to support the claim.
  2. Make a list of furniture, furnishings, appliances, tools, equipment, household items, antiques, collectibles, jewelry, etc. Identify any separate property.
  3. Copy of the Certificate of Title or registration for all vehicles. This would include automobiles, travel trailer or motor home, water crafts, utility or carrier trailers, airplanes.
  4. Copy of bank, credit union, brokerage/investment, IRA or other financial institution account statements covering the date of separation. If a separate property claim is being made, statements as of the date of marriage, and throughout the marriage may need to be provided to confirm there is no commingling of funds.
  5. Copy of statements for pension and retirement accounts covering the date of separation. If a separate property claim is being made as a result of pre-marital or post-separation contributions, statements as of the date of marriage, and subsequent to the date of separation will be necessary to determine the separate property interest in these plans.In order to determine the community interest in pension benefits and retirement accounts, it is necessary to have a forensic valuation prepared. The cost of the valuation is approximately $350.00 per plan, however, this cost can vary depending on the volume of information which may be necessary to review regarding a deferred compensation type account.
  6. Copies of State and Federal tax returns for the most current two tax years, to include all schedules and attachments, and W-2 statements.
  7. Copies of most recent five tax years for any one who is self-employed, and corporate returns if self-employment is a corporation. Copy of most current financial information for the business for the current calendar year, i.e., profit and loss, business bank account statements, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.
  8. Life insurance policies, including statement confirming current cash value of policy, if any. If there are any separate property claims, verification of the cash value as of the date of marriage would be necessary.
  9. Copies of any statements to confirm the debt owed at the time of separation. Make sure the statement provided covers the date of separation.
  10. In the event either spouse pays child support for a child from a different relationship, or spousal support to a former spouse, a copy of the court order confirming the amount would be helpful as this is considered in making child support and spousal support orders.
  11. Most current tax year W-2, and most recent three months paystubs.

Helpful Tips:

Make a list of your questions before coming to your initial consultation appointment. Keep your questions together regarding each subject, i.e., child custody/visitation, child support/spousal support, assets and debts, attorney fees, etc., together so you are sure to cover each question during your appointment when discussing that issue.

Related Pages

Divorce Process Representation, Mediation, Collaborative Division of Property Spousal Support Child Custody Child Support Restraining Orders

All information provided herein is general in nature. You should consult a licensed Family Law Attorney with regard to your specific case and facts. To contact our office please call (559) 486-1761.
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