How to gather evidence for your property settlement
Virtually all property you’ve accumulated during your marriage should be included for division between the parties. We can help you gather everything you need.
To make sure you get what you are entitled to the first step is to know what’s really in the property pool. To do this you need to gather any documents related to your assets or liabilities. These include:
• Title Deeds
• Tax returns
• Mortgages/ Loans
• Personal Loans
• Bank Statements
• Superannuation statements
• Proof of valuable property (jewellery, cars etc)
• A detailed list of personal property
If your spouse owns a business, it’s imperative that you obtain as much information as possible about the company including, business tax returns and financial statements, documents evidencing business assets and liabilities (such as real estate and personal property, including bank accounts, as well as records of outstanding loans and other business debt), and organizational paperwork, like certificates of incorporation.
Gathering this information can be a daunting task and a lawyer can make this job easier. Alternatively, you can get the ball rolling yourself, below are some useful resources to help to get the information you need.
These are usually prepared by your accountant. A quick telephone call and they may be able to email you the previous three years without any hassle. These are important as they show a parties regular income over the past few years. These can be more complicated if a party is running a business as they can artificially inflate/deflate their income.
A title search contains information relating to the ownership of the land, how it is owned if there is any mortgages or interests over the land. A family lawyer can obtain title searches for you, however, you can also obtain title searches yourself online from most state governments. If you are in Queensland simply follow this link.
You should receive regular superannuation statements. However, sometimes these can get lost. You can either contact the super fund directly to provide you with a statement. If you aren’t sure how many super funds you have, you can get a copy of your superannuation from the ATO online.
If you don’t receive copies of your bank statements you can contact your bank. Most banks allow you to download bank statements if you have internet banking. You don’t need to get all bank statements you’ve received in your entire marriage, however, the last 12 months is a useful starting point.
Proof of valuable property
Usually, spouses can agree on the value of something, it’s only when there is disagreement that you might need to seek valuations. However, if you or your spouse has a property that is valuable, for example, wedding bands, cars, collectables that have previously been valued. You should obtain copies of the valuations.