List Shared Assets
Your family lawyer may ask you to compile a list of anything that is of value to both of you. Examples of assets include:
- Pensions and retirement plans
- Bank accounts
In addition, you will need to quickly secure essential documents such as tax returns, wills, insurance policies, bank and credit card statements. You should make copies and ensure that the originals are well protected.
You must also list valuables such as paintings and other art, wedding rings, furniture and stamp collections. It’s best to keep these items safe and carefully stored throughout the divorce or separation to avoid unnecessary complications.
Print Financial Statements
Bank account statements, tax forms and brokerage account statements are typically available online. While convenient, this can pose a risk during a separation or divorce. An angry spouse can change passwords or otherwise hinder access, so print out all your information as soon as possible.
Safeguard Your Bank Account
To reduce the likelihood of additional conflict, you should put some protections in place for any joint bank accounts. The primary account holder for a joint account or credit card can ask the bank to lower the limit. If you are not the primary account holder, you may need a financial restraining order from the court to ensure your spouse doesn’t withdraw all your shared funds.