Collect what you can before you leave

We often leave relationships because we have to, because we have no choice. This decision is never made lightly and is often fraught with fear, urgency and some panic. Before you leave for good, there are some extra things you will need to gather up before leaving: financial records.

When the time comes to formerly end the marriage you will need to complete a financial statement in order to divide the property between you and your ex partner. This statement requires that you declare your assets and liabilities. When you view what your ex partner has recorded on the financial statement they have submitted, you should undertake to prove that it is correct. To do this you want to have to hand third party documentation to prove, for example, that the assets (savings and investment bank accounts) and liabilities (credit cards and loan accounts) actually existed during the marriage.

What could happen is that your ex partner may attempt to diminish the amount of assets they have and increase the amount of liabilities. You want to be able to prove all the asset accounts held during the marriage have been disclosed, so prior to leaving the family home you want to be able to collect as much supporting evidence as possible to prove what was held. You can always ask your ex partner through their lawyer later on for statements proving current balances but you need to have a good idea of what assets and liabilities exist because parties are not above hiding things or telling untruths when it comes to money. When disclosing liabilities some ex’s may claim loans extended by family or friends. This is a common tactic and having some proof to refute the claim is dynamite. Let’s says your ex partner was given a large gift of money by a parent for their birthday, if you had a birthday card or some type of note reflecting the giving of this gift, that would be proof the claim of the money as a loan was incorrect.

Before you leave the family home, take stock of what you will need in terms of financial records to establish all assets and liabilities. If you cannot remove the documents, then you can either photocopy them or scan them onto a USB stick. Remember, think strategically.

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