Divorce Planning

If you are new to the dissolution process you should familiarize yourself with information on our 'Anatomy of a dissolution' page.

Washington Courts has developed a handbook, titled the Family Law Handbook, to help people understand the divorce process and implications in Washington State.

The following is a list of the items that you will need to best prepare for the process of dissolution:

  • Federal income tax returns for the last three (3) years with W-2 forms, and all attached schedules (joint and/or separate);
  • Last six months pay stubs for both spouses that show deductions from gross pay;
  • Your current check register (to establish spending patterns);
  • Each spouse's most recent annual statement of pension or retirement benefits;
  • Savings passbook(s) (joint and separate);
  • Certificates of deposit, Treasury bills, stock statements or certificates, portfolio report, name of stock broker, etc.;
  • Financial statements given to banks or lending institutions for any recent loan(s) (ie: mortgage, car, boat, home equity);
  • Monthly bank statements for all checking and savings accounts (both joint and separate);
  • Joint and/or separate charge card statements for the last six (6) months (i.e: VISA, MasterCard, Sears, JC Penny, Nordstrom, Macy's, American Express, etc.);
  • Warranty deeds, contracts, title insurance policy, and other documents establishing ownership to real estate (ie: home, vacation property, rentals, etc.);
  • Title certificates and registration statements for cars, trucks, recreational vehicles and boats, etc.;
  • List of all current debts and monthly payments (with explanation, if necessary), and date of last payment (please do this in conjunction with your financial declaration);
  • Annual statements describing medical and life insurance benefits and profit sharing plans, etc. for each employer;
  • If you are self employed or are a partner in a business, the most recent tax return, annual profit and loss statement, most current quarterly profit and loss statement (ie: B&O quarterly reports);
  • If you are a beneficiary to a trust: copy of trust document and name/address of trustee;
  • If previously you were divorced or subject to a child support order: copies of the Decree of Dissolution, Property Settlement Agreement, and/or Order of Child Support; and
  • You should order from the Social Security Administration "Your Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement" which shows what has been paid into your account and what benefits you will receive upon retirement.