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Tax documents can help people prepare for divorce

Divorce can bring about major financial changes for people in North Carolina. In many marriages, one partner has a much higher level of control over and understanding of family finances than does the other. In most cases, the husband has greater control over finances, but this can vary from couple to couple. What this can mean is that the other party is disadvantaged when it comes time to file for divorce, especially if he or she knows little about the marital assets that would be divided as part of a settlement.

One of the most important ways that people can prepare for divorce is to learn more about their financial situation. While both spouses will generally sign off on their tax returns every year, it is rare for both to truly read through and understand the information presented. When considering divorce, these documents can be some of the most critical to understanding the state of family finances. By going back and looking at tax documents, including 1099s, W-2s and K-1s, people can understand more about marital investment holdings and income.

People considering divorce can also learn more by estimating the costs of their lifestyle and their monthly expenses. Online tools can help people to synthesize years of bank and credit card statements to truly understand how much it costs to fund their current marital lifestyle. In addition, people will eventually need to file financial affidavits as part of a divorce, so understanding the couple's assets and liabilities is essential.

Even after the emotional fallout of a divorce has dissipated, its financial legacy will linger for years to come. A family law attorney may work with a divorcing spouse to understand more about the financial situation and seek a fair settlement on a range of issues, including property division and spousal support.

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