The saying “proper preparation prevents poor performance” may be a bit cliché, but it certainly applies to divorce cases. I can’t stress enough the importance of good organization when you’re a CEO or business executive going through a divorce. Well-kept financial records are vital for anyone, but they’re even more important when you have substantial assets, business holdings, and other complex components that need to be resolved by the time your divorce is finalized.
It’s important to compile paperwork before going through your divorce, especially as a business executive who has substantial assets. It will be a mad dash to the finish line for you and your spouse if you’re not prepared to prove your financial circumstances. Even worse, if your spouse’s attorney has had access to your joint financial paperwork before you provide it to your divorce law lawyer in Edina, it puts your spouse’s lawyer in a better position to negotiate for his or her client. You never want to give the other party an unnecessary upper hand in any negotiations, so avoid dragging your feet when getting the following paperwork to your attorney.
Basic Paperwork Needed for Your Divorce
First, there are several documents you’ll need simply because you are a W-2 employee. A basic list of these required documents includes:
- Tax returns for the past three years with supporting documentation
- Paystubs for the past six months
- Year-end paystubs
- Employee benefits
These documents establish your income and assets, which is necessary information for your attorney to have in order to determine what is a fair and reasonable approach to your divorce. The courts will also need this documentation to make a final ruling if you and your spouse are unable to come to a financial agreement in mediation.
Documents Needed for a Business Executive
If you are a CEO or executive, your employment likely includes additional financial perks, as well as potential obligations. Prior to your divorce, you’ll need to obtain additional information that shows the full scope of your earnings, reimbursements, and benefits. This includes:
- Expense reimbursements
- Stock option agreements
- Employment agreement
- Commission agreement
- Deferred Compensation
Accounting for A Homemaker’s Financial Circumstances Post-Divorce
Since you likely have substantial assets due to your high-paying career, it’s possible that your spouse has been a homemaker or stay-at-home parent while you have “climbed the ladder” at work. It’s possible he or she will be entitled to spousal maintenance because of this. There is always room to negotiate, though, so the following paperwork pertaining to your spouse can help you reach a fair agreement when it comes to spousal maintenance:
- Work history
- Re-certification requirements
- Social Security Benefits Statement
- Medical records (if the spouse has not been working for medical reasons)
These records are primarily used to determine your spouse’s future earning potential and whether they will experience financial strain because of the divorce.
Ensuring A Good Outcome, the First Time Around
The paperwork you collect to prepare for your divorce can affect child support in Edina, spousal maintenance in Edina, distribution of assets including real estate, and more. It’s not a time to cut corners; once the divorce is finalized, you’ll have far more hurdles to overcome if you don’t agree with the court’s ruling. To successfully change a child support or spousal maintenance ruling post-divorce, for example, you’ll need to file a post-decree motion demonstrating that you or your spouse’s financial circumstances have changed significantly since the time of your divorce. This means a lot more paperwork in the long run, so do your best to collect everything your attorney requests the first time around.
If you’re looking for a divorce attorney to represent you as a business executive, I can help you reach a beneficial agreement with your spouse. I have represented numerous clients with high profile careers and substantial assets during their divorces and other family law cases. Contact me today to get started.