Divorce in Minnesota requires a husband and a wife to fully disclose their assets and liabilities. This means that you need to collect financial documents such as checking and savings account statements, tax records, credit card statements, other debt invoices, retirement and pension benefit reports, pay checks and bonuses, stock and bond statements, investment records, mortgage notes, bank loans, medical bills, inheritance records, health and dental insurance costs, life insurance values, property tax statements, home appraisals, automobile and recreational vehicle values, jewelry assessments, tool values, and business records and then disclose these documents with your spouse during the divorce process. It is also helpful to create a list of the more valuable assets in the home that are marital and non-marital in nature. Some individuals find it helpful to take pictures and/or video of the assets that are in the marital home for record keeping purposes. Gathering this information up front will not only better prepare you for the divorce process, it will assist your divorce attorney in being a better advocate for you as you proceed through your divorce matter.
What happens if you do not know how to gather the requested financial documents? In a marriage it is a common situation where one spouse is more financially knowledgeable about the couple’s financial situation than the other spouse simply because that is the role the husband and wife fell into during the marriage. The spouse who did not have the responsibility of keeping track of the marital assets and debts and does not know where to begin in collecting these types of documents should obtain an experienced divorce attorney who can assist him or her in locating the needed documents. If a spouse is not being cooperative in sharing the financial documents with his or her spouse, then the divorce attorney has the option to formally serve discovery upon the non-cooperative spouse to try and collect the required financial documents or take the non-disclosure of financial documents issue before the Court to seek the needed relief. There are consequences for a spouse who is going through the divorce process and hiding assets or debts from his or her spouse. A spouse will be more successful in settlement if she or he proceeds through the divorce process honestly and in good faith.