Get your papers in order

When divorcing or separating you are likely to have various financial claims which will generally fall into the following categories:

– Property
– Capital
– Income
– Pensions

To help us advise you we need to know the extent of your savings, the value of your property, your net income and the extent and value of any Pension provision. Not only do you need to be able to provide this information but you will be required to produce documents in support, as will your partner. That information will then be exchanged and considered to enable us to advise you on the nature and quantum of your claims.

Whilst much of this information and documentation gathering can be done over a period of time, and during discussions, it is helpful to have some information readily available.

– You should consider obtaining an opinion of value for any property you own, either in your sole name or jointly with another. This can usually be obtained in writing by way of marketing advice from a local Estate Agent.
– Request an up to date mortgage statement
– Request surrender/cash in values for any endowment policies or investments
– Check how much you owe on any loans or credit cards

Having this information available for your meeting with us can help us give you clear and specific advice from the outset.

During the course of negotiations you may be asked to provide copy statements for all Bank or Building Society accounts for a period of 12 months; your last P60 and 3 months payslips.

It is a good idea to think about where you might have hidden these papers or alternatively make enquiries to obtain copies.

Be organised

If you bring us all your paperwork in a carrier bag we wont give it back to you but we will grimace! It take a long while to sort through a bundle of papers – removing them from their envelopes, putting in date order and discarding the junk mail invariably found amongst the pile! It also costs you a lot of money for our time.

Try to collate documents/Bank statements in chronological order. Keep documents relating to property in one section, Bank statements and investment details in another, and so on.

Purchasing a cheap lever arch file can be a far better investment than paying us to sort out your papers.

by Deborah Allen from the King’s Lynn office