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Pre-Divorce Planning Guide, Part 2

Partner Gwyneth Murray-Nolan, Esq. Brings you the second part of her guide on planning for divorce. Divorce is a stressful, emotional process.  Getting organized early will assist you long term. 



Remember that home improvement store credit card you opened 3 years ago and never put a purchase on? What about the trading account that your spouse has been "handling"? Divorce creates its own stress, so do not expect your memory to be crystal clear. Take some time now to locate all of your accounts. Make sure you have access to all of them, and computer log ins are not tied to your spouse's account. If you think they may be, take the time and print out statements. Make sure you also have all your financial institutions correspondence addresses. If you have a safe deposit box, know the contents and be aware of where the keys are. Remember, the banking institutions will log every time anyone goes into the box. You will need:

· Bank statements for each and every bank account, whether your name is on the account or not for the last 5 years

· Copies of credit card statements for all credit cards, whether you name is on the card, whether you are the primary or secondary card holder or not, for the last 5 years

· Information on all retirement account statements including all IRAs, Roth IRAs, pension plans, profit sharing plans, etc. from the present, as well as from the date that you were married and the date that you or your spouse (depending on whose plan it is) started to contribute to the plan


Whether you own or lease your vehicles, documentation is important. Whose name are the vehicles in? Who carries the insurance policy? Do you pay for parking? If so how frequently, and how much? Is your name on all the vehicles? If there are recreational vehicles involved, make sure you have access to them and know their mileage prior to divorce proceedings. You will need to collect:

· Titles of all vehicles

· Monthly payment statement for all leased vehicles

· Leases for all leased vehicle

· Automobile insurance policy

· Boat/ snow mobiles/ scooter/ motorcycle/ etc. insurance policy

Insurance papers

Most of us do not spend a lot of our free time pouring over insurance policies that exist in case of emergencies. Are there life insurance and/or disability policies in place? Who are the beneficiaries? Are the policies all related to employment or are other policies in existence? If your spouse carries your health insurance, make sure you have all applicable information and have access to your own account. Now is also a good time to make sure all of these are current, the premiums are paid in full, and you have the correct information. You will need:

· Copies of Wills, Living Wills, Power of Attorneys, Trusts, and other important legal documents

· Copies of life insurance polices

· Statements for payments of life insurance polices

· Copies of long term or short term disability policies

· Statements for payments of long term and/or short term disability polices

Health insurance policy and copies of the front and back of any health insurance

About the Author

Ms. Gwyneth Murray-Nolan is a Partner at Weiner Law Group LLP, specializing in a number of diverse areas of the law. Ms. Murray-Nolan has extensive trial experience in the State of New Jersey in a wide variety of practice areas including family law, personal injury and insurance defense cases. Ms. Murray-Nolan is a Member of the Morris County Bar Association, a Member of the New Jersey Association for Justice, and a Member of the American Bar Association. Ms. Murray-Nolan has served as a Morris County Civil Mediator and a speaker for various functions and associations pertaining to the law.

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