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Making Copies of Documents You May Need Before You Leave

These are a few suggestions for making copies of documents or preparing paperwork that may be important during the separation process to establish a fair agreement on equalization of family assets and payment of support.  It will not be a complete list, but hopefully gives you a sense for the type of information you will need.  See my additional articles about other financial information you will need.

  1. Make photocopies of bank loan, line of credit and credit card statements, preferably at your date of separation. You will need these for calculations when equalizing your net family property, but they may also be important to account fairly for financial activities after your separation.
  2. Make copies or record details of recent household bills because you will need such information to prepare a budget for the future. Make copies or record details of bills for children’s activities, education and medical needs as these may be relevant in determining support payments.
  3. Make a copy of a recent payroll statement and annual employer pension statement for you and your partner. Also obtain a copy of employee group insurance documents; most employers provide a handbook or summary document to their employees summarizing coverage.
  4. Take pictures or a video of each room in the house and of all significant assets as this may be important later if disagreements arise over existence or condition of such items.
  5. Make a list of everything that is in your safety deposit box, and take copies of all important documents.
  6. Make copies of the last three years’ of personal tax returns for both of you, as well as of any business financial statements and tax returns. Copies of your personal Notices of Assessment may also be required, and if you cannot find them, you may call the CRA (1-800-959-8281) and request copies, or go online and register for their “My Account” services.
  7. Ensure you have copies or possession of other important documents, such as the marriage license, birth certificates, passports, health cards and other such documents, not only for you but, where applicable, for your children.

Important: Get legal advice before signing any documents or agreeing to any asset division, custody or support arrangements.  You need to avoid unknowingly agreeing to surrender anything to which you are entitled or that will negatively impact your future negotiations.


Blair Corkum, CPA, CA, R.F.P., CFP, CFDS, CLU, CHS holds his Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Registered Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist as well as several other financial planning related designations. Blair offers hourly based fee-only personal financial planning, holds no investment or insurance licenses, and receives no commissions or referral fees. This publication should not be construed as legal or investment advice. It is neither a definitive analysis of the law nor a substitute for professional advice which you should obtain before acting on information in this article. Information may change as a result of legislation or regulations issued after this article was written.©Blair Corkum