An end to a marriage rarely comes as a surprise. Instead, most spouses generally see signs that their relationship is turning sour months (if not years) before they get served with divorce papers. It's when your marriage first shows signs of breaking down that it's time for you to start making financial plans.
One of the best steps that you can take when a divorce is coming is to start closely monitoring your household's mail.
You'll want to start collecting all of the different bank, retirement and investment account statements that come in and make copies of them. Having these will help your divorce attorney make sense of what marital assets there are in case your ex doesn't admit to having them on financial disclosures.
It's not just important to track down bank statements though. You'll want to try to get your hands on your spouse's check stubs and tax returns. This will help document what they make and whether they've received a commission, bonus, a promotion or generated some other type of income.
If you come across it, then you should also save their Social Security statement. It generally shows an individual's lifetime earnings and what their projected benefits are expected to be in the future.
Although it's not mail, while you're digging around looking for different documents, you may want to set aside any appraisal report that's been done on your house. Often times, this may be included as part of closing documents for a loan. If there are any receipts for improvements that have been done on your Fort Myers home, then you may want to make copies of them as well.
The more assets that a couple has, the more likely it is that they have ones that can be particularly complex to divide up. Certain types of retirement and investment accounts can carry with them certain tax implications depending on how they're split up in a divorce. A property division attorney can help you understand this and all other aspects involved with a Florida divorce.