Be prepared to share all information about yourself and marriage situation. The more you document and prepare the easier it will be to gain clarity, direction and understand your options.

Documenting Information

To help you organize information pertaining to an upcoming divorce use the form found in the download link to the right.

This is the form is called the Master Information List (MIL). We use the MIL at Sterling Law Offices to collect all the pertinent information for a divorce.fact gathering

This form is a critical document to help organize all the information in a divorce. Whether you want to file pro-se or obtain representation using this tool will help you answer 95% of all questions an attorney may ask during a divorce.

Documents to Locate & Prepare

  1. Tax Returns
    Get copies of your state and federal income-tax returns for the last three years. This includes, all schedules, K-1 forms, W-2 forms, and 1099s.
  2. Net Worth Statements
    Obtain copies of net-worth statements you filed in the last five years to secure a loan or line of credit. If you can not locate these documents the institution you submitted these statements can provide you a copy.
  3. Retirement Plans
    If you participate in profit-sharing, pension, or a retirement plan contact the bookkeeper or plan administrator requesting a copy of the summary plan description, a statement of your current interest in the plan, and its value.
  4. Retirement Accounts
    If you or your spouse owns any IRAs, document the name of the financial institution, the account number, the beneficiary, and request a statement indicating the account balance.
  5. Real Estate—Legal Description
    If you or your spouse has interest in any real estate, secure a copy of the legal description for each parcel. You can find the full legal description in the deed, mortgage, title-insurance policy, or abstract of title. In addition, if you have a mortgage, request from your financial institution copies of the mortgage, the mortgage amortization schedule, and the mortgage note.
  6. Real Estate Tax Bill
    Make a photocopy of the last paid tax bill for each piece of real estate owned either jointly or solely.
  7. Real Estate Appraisal
    If your property was appraised for any reason within the last three years create a copy of the appraisal.
  8. Life Insurance Policy
    Make a copy of any life-insurance policy including the policy face sheet with the name and address of the insurance company, the face amount of the policy, policy number, owner of the policy, beneficiary, annual premium, and terms and conditions.
  9. Medical Insurance Policy
    Create a copy of the company name, policy/group number, and subscriber number. This should be for health, dental, and any other medical insurance policies.
  10. Other Insurance Policies
    Photocopy all insurance policies presently maintained. This includes, but is not limited to, homeowner’s, automobile, and personal-property policies and any schedules or riders.
  11. Bank Accounts
    Photocopies of current bank statements indicating the balance.
  12. Loans and Liabilities
    Copies of current balance for all loans you or your spouse are liable. This includes copies of current credit card statements.
  13. Securities
    Secure a copy of any securities, with a list of stocks, stock options, bonds, commodity accounts, notes, money-market accounts, or mutual funds. Copies should include the date of purchase, the purchase price, and the current owner.
  14. Business Interests
    If you or your spouse has an interest in any business, obtain copies of the tax returns, distribution schedules, balance sheets, and profit/loss statements for the last five years. This information may be difficult to obtain, gather as much as possible.
  15. Estate or Trust Interests
    If you or your spouse was ever gifted or inherited any property or a there is a future interest in any estate secure a copy of the gift-tax returns, will, inventory, final account, and judgment effecting such interest.
  16. Previous Marriages
    If either party was married and divorced, secure copies of the judgment.

Lawyer Jeff Hughes from Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.

Managing Partner

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