Documents Required in Financial Disclosure
Valuation of Property – if you own property, whether in your joint names or individually, you will need to agree on value. The cheapest way is to contact three local Estate Agents, suggest you are thinking of selling, and take a middle value which you both agree for negotiation purposes. The same applies for investment property. Foreign property may also be relevant and should be fully declared. If you are in rental property details of your tenancy will be needed.
Debts on Property – if you have a mortgage you will need to ask your lender for a redemption statement i.e. what you need to pay to clear the debt. Make sure you have details of any early redemption penalties and what date they expire. Documents reflecting loans/debts secured on the property are also needed.
Valuation of Shares/Bonds/Unit Trusts – you need to disclose anything else you have whether jointly or individually. This does not mean that they will automatically be relevant but if you don’t give disclosure any agreement reached can be over turned if it later becomes clear that you were not honest.
Policies – ask your policy providers for ‘surrender values’ in respect of these. If they are near maturity (rough guide, within five years) you may also need to obtain anticipated maturity values.
Bank Statements – three months are initially required but if questions are raised on spending or if you have already lived apart, additional statements may be reasonably necessary. You should be able to account for any unusual expenditure, backed by documentary evidence where necessary.
Pensions – you each need to write to your pension providers and ask for the ‘Cash Equivalent Transfer Values’ for any pension provision you have. You will need to know the start date since the percentage of benefits accrued before marriage may be excluded from consideration in any settlement.
Inheritance possibilities – these will not necessarily be relevant but any you know of must be disclosed. The courts will take account of anything you are likely to receive in the ‘reasonably foreseeable future’.
Income – initially you will need your last three month’s pay slips and P60 and any information you have regarding future pay rises, cuts or likely promotions. If you are self-employed you will need to provide a copy of your last tax return and other relevant documents to support your income status.
Business interests … if you own/partly own your own business it is likely that a valuation of your interest will be required. You should not necessarily rely on the valuation the business accountant places on it and it may be necessary to obtain an independent valuation.
Debts – obtain paperwork/statements to confirm exactly how much is needed to clear them. Collate information on how they were incurred, what they were used for and whether they were for joint/ individual benefit.
Above all else remember that the more you can agree, the less the legal system will take. However, some people, who had issues with financial disclosure, reported that lender liability lawyer helped them a lot. On the other hand, they say it is much better to consult with several lawyers in order to get the real picture of your problem and solving it as well.