In many Louisiana homes, one spouse takes on the responsibility of keeping track of the household finances, assets and liabilities. This may work well during the marriage, but in a divorce, it could put one party at a disadvantage. Gaining an understanding of the marital finances, assets and liabilities could be the push needed to move a potentially contested divorce into an uncontested divorce since both parties have the same information.
These days, many Louisiana couples are opting not to battle out in court. This makes knowing what comprises the current marital estate crucial. Neither party is required to rely on the other when it comes to the family finances, and in fact, it would be a good idea for each party to do his or her own homework.
Gathering documents such as title documents for a property, bank statements and billing statements is a good start. In today’s technological age, paperwork is not enough. Online accounts and assets also need to be located and saved.
Do not forget tax returns as well. These documents can provide a plethora of information — assuming that the spouse that filed them was honest with the IRS. Most people fear repercussions from the IRS, so tax returns would be a valuable resource for information.
An uncontested divorce requires full disclosure and the free exchange of information between the parties. Taking the time to understand the current financial situation could help facilitate that objective, and a Louisiana family law attorney could help. Avoiding a contested divorce often saves the parties time, money and effort and results in a more satisfactory settlement since the parties retain control over their futures.
Source: USA Today, “7 ways to ready your finances for divorce“, Elizabeth Renter, May 31, 2017