Going through a divorce involves addressing several financial and property-related issues. You must address these issues thoroughly and appropriately, as oversights and mistakes during a divorce can lead to problems in the future. Fortunately, you can avoid oversights and mistakes with a systematic approach—and this starts with gathering the documentation you will need as you navigate the divorce process.
Addressing the financial and property-related aspects of a divorce necessarily involves several forms of documentation. This includes many forms of documentation you already have in your possession (or can obtain with a little effort). Putting in the effort to collect these documents at the outset will help your divorce go more smoothly and allow you to make informed decisions along the way proactively.
10 Documents You Need for an Arizona Divorce
So, what documents do you need when getting divorced in Arizona? Here are some of the key documents you will need as you start the process:
1. Proof of Income
You will need proof of your income to address alimony (and child support if you have children). If you are an employee, this typically means collecting your most recent pay stubs and W-2. If you are an independent contractor or business owner (or if you drive or do gig work on the side), then you will need your recent pay statements, 1099s, and any other pertinent documentation you may have.
2. Tax Returns
Your most recent tax returns should also provide proof of your (and your spouse’s) income. They will also help document your expenses, debts, and other important information. If you don’t have copies of your tax returns, you may be able to obtain copies from your accountant or from the software or app you used to prepare them online.
3. Bank Account Statements
You will also need to collect or download copies of your recent bank account statements for purposes of your divorce. This includes all of your checking and savings accounts—whether you own them individually or share joint accounts with your spouse. These will address alimony (and child support, if applicable) and divide your marital property.
4. Retirement Account Statements
Retirement accounts are among many spouses’ most considerable assets. If you earned any (or all) of your retirement savings during your marriage, at least a portion of your retirement will be on the table in your divorce. Does this mean that you will lose a chunk of your retirement savings? Not necessarily. While this is possible, some options allow both spouses to keep their savings while dividing other property.
5. Non-Retirement Investment Account Statements
If you have any non-retirement investment accounts, you will need to collect the most recent statements from these accounts as well. Again, all assets that you and your spouse own are potentially subject to division during the divorce process. With this in mind, you should be sure to collect your most recent statements for all of the following (as applicable):
- Brokerage accounts
- Self-managed securities accounts (i.e., Robinhood or Acorns)
- Cryptocurrency accounts
- College savings accounts
- HSA accounts
6. Credit Card Statements
Your credit card statements will be necessary for a few reasons. First, they will help document any monthly expenses you pay by card. Second, they will help document recent purchases that qualify as marital assets for your property division. Third, if you have credit card debt, this debt may also be subject to division in your divorce—as both marital assets and marital obligations must be split 50-50 in most cases.
7. Real Estate Deeds
If you own your home, you must track down a copy of the deed for your divorce. You may have this in your files, but if you don’t, you may be able to get a copy from your real estate agent or closing attorney. You (or your attorney) can also request a copy from the local recording office if necessary. If you own a vacation home, vacant land, or investment properties, you will also need copies of the deeds for these properties.
8. Vehicle Titles
If you own your car, truck, or SUV (or multiple vehicles), you will also need a copy of the title for each vehicle you own. If you are still making payments, you may need to request a copy from your lender.
9. Loan Documents
Speaking of lenders, along with collecting copies of your real estate deeds and vehicle titles, you will also need to collect documentation of any outstanding loans you and/or your spouse. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Mortgages and second mortgages
- Home equity lines of credit
- Auto loans
- Boat loans
- Student loans
- Personal Loans
If you receive statements in the mail, keep your most recent statements when you receive them. If you can access your account online, print or download your most recent statements instead. Track down your original loan documents, too, as these will show whether the loans are in your name only, your spouse’s name only, or both jointly.
10. Property Inventory
Finally, to begin preparing for the property division aspect of your divorce, you will want to create a property inventory. This is a list of all the properties you and/or your spouse own. For information on preparing this list, read our recent article: 10 Tips for Creating a Property Inventory for Your Divorce in Arizona.
Schedule a Free Divorce Consultation at Weingart Family Law in Tempe, AZ
Are you thinking about filing for divorce in Arizona? If so, we are happy to walk you through everything you need to know in a free and confidential consultation. To schedule an appointment with an experienced divorce lawyer at Weingart Family Law in Tempe, AZ, please call 480-605-0074 or send us a message online today.