Preparing for Separation

Preparing Your Case

Please continue reading for more information about preparing your case with the help of attorney Rebecca Perry in Greensboro, North Carolina.


In order to negotiate and prepare a separation agreement and property settlement, or to prepare for litigation, you should gather the following information and documentation:

For all cases:

  • Pre-marital, postnuptial or separation agreements entered into with your spouse.
  • Court orders related to you or your spouse.

For cases involving child support, post-separation support or alimony:

Proof of income — for the past three months, including:

  • Pay stubs
  • Pay and expense vouchers
  • Employee benefits statements
  • Stock option statements
  • Company financial statements
  • Tax returns and/or Form 1040, Schedule "C" if self-employed or employed by closely held corporation

Account statements — for the past three months:

  • Bank accounts
  • Brokerage accounts
  • All other financial institutions for which you are an authorized signer.
  • Current debts — Statements showing amounts owed and terms of payment.
  • Federal tax returns — Filed by you or for you, including all schedules and attachments (W-2, 1099, etc., and all year-end tax documents (W-2, 1098, 1099, etc.) for five years including the most recent tax year if that return has not yet been filed.
  • Personal financial or net worth statements — You gave to anyone within the past two years.
  • Support amounts you currently pay, including child support, post-separation support or alimony.
  • Work-related day care costs — Documents showing monthly amounts you pay.

For cases involving equitable distribution of property:

  • A list of assets and liabilities, and the value or balance of each as of the date of separation.
  • Titles to personal property — Copies of title to personal property (cars, boats, trailers, etc.) owned by you or your spouse during the six months prior to the date of separation.
  • Deeds — Any deeds, deeds of trust and any amortization schedules in connection with any real property owned by you or your spouse.
  • Mortgages and loans — Statements showing current mortgage or loan balances and balance on the date of separation from your spouse. Also, any refinancing or appraisal documents.
  • Business financial statements — If you or your spouse owns a business, copies of all balance sheets, profit-loss statements, and cash flow analyses completed within the last five years, as well as all state and federal tax returns, complete with all schedules, filed within the last five years. Additionally, copies of any Articles of Incorporation, shareholder agreements or partnership agreements.
  • Account balances — Copies of statements from any and all financial institutions showing current balances and those showing date of separation balances for bank accounts, money market accounts, IRAs, brokerage accounts and any other investments. Also, provide all monthly checking account statements and copies of canceled checks for the year prior to the date of separation to the present date.
  • Credit card statements of you and your spouse from the year prior to separation date.
  • Lease agreements — Copies of any and all lease agreements in effect as of the date of separation.
  • Stocks and bonds — Copies of any and all stock certificates and/or bonds in your name or your spouse's name as of the date of separation. Also, please provide any documentation as to the current value of the stock and/or bonds and value on of the date of separation.
  • Life insurance policies — Documentation showing the name of the insurance company, face amount of the policy, cash surrender value, policy number, owner, beneficiary, premiums and any terms or conditions of the policy.
  • Burial plots — Copies of any documentation relating to any burial plots owned by you or your spouse.
  • Employment benefits — Documentation of any and all benefits either vested or non-vested that resulted from your or your spouse's employment during the marriage, including but not limited to retirement plans, ESOP, 401(k) plans, long-term savings plans and stock options. Please also provide a copy of any pension plan handbooks.
  • Employment contracts — Copies of any and all employment contracts and/or consulting contracts.
  • Promissory notes involving you or your spouse.

If we can assist you with a separation, divorce, property division, alimony, child custody or other family law matter, please click here.