Why Is Listing Your Debts & Assets Important?
The beginning of the divorce process is one of the first steps into a new future. It’s an emotional and confusing time as you and your spouse begin to separate personal items, as well as finances. It’s more than necessary to list your assets and debts accurately to prevent bigger problems later.
By taking the time to organize your financial information, you’ll have a better chance of negotiating a fair divorce settlement. If you don’t, you risk the consequences of further legal action after the divorce is finalized and the possibility of being held in contempt of court.
How to List Your Assets
Assets include all properties, possessions, accounts, businesses, investments, or any other items that have a cash value. Save yourself the stress and time of documenting your assets by starting a list before the property division process begins.
In a written or online list, using Word or Excel create a category for each type of asset. Include specific details about each asset to clear up any questions your spouse or an attorney may have during the divorce process. Organizing your assets as such will show transparency and help avoid accusations of hidden assets.
[Related: 4 Signs Your Spouse Has Hidden Assets]
Your list of assets should include the following:
- Personal bank accounts, shared accounts, retirement accounts, and credit cards
- Real estate properties, any vacation homes, income properties, and land
- Cars, trailers, boats, motorcycles, and other vehicles
- Investments, including life insurance accounts, retirement funds, annuities, stocks, intellectual property, bonds, etc.
- High-value personal belongings, such as art, jewelry, antiques, etc.
It is important to list and identify all assets that you owned prior to the marriage, assets that you inherited during the marriage, or assets that were gifted to you during the marriage, as these assets may be protected from equitable division with your spouse.
If you own a business, it’s recommended that you still document all business properties and accounts. If you’re not sure of the estimated value of your business, then you will most likely need to consult with an accountant. Any questions about listing assets can be quickly answered by a trusted attorney, such as the ones at Boudreaux Law Firm.
[Related: Protecting Your Business in a Divorce]
List Your Debts
After you’ve completed listing your assets, you’re ready to tackle a list of debts. Similar to assets, the debts you may have accumulated with your spouse are also up for division. Debts you have acquired before and during your marriage need to be disclosed during a divorce.
Your list of debts should include the following:
- Home loans and equity loans
- Personal loans
- Auto loans
- Medical bills
- Credit card bills
- Student loans
Every individual’s financial situation is different. If you have any questions about your assets and debts during a divorce, then rely on the experts at Boudreaux Law Firm to guide you during this emotional time. Our divorce attorneys are knowledgeable about the information needed to go to court. Call Boudreaux Law Firm in Augusta, GA, at 706-869-1334.