You Have To Have This Document In Order To Win Your Case! (Pt. 2)

The Balance Sheet

Valuing, Distributing And Dividing Assets and Liabilities – Six Steps To Completing The #1 Document In Your Entire Case

Why is the balance sheet the #1 most important document in every property only case? Simple.

In every case, the balance sheet is exactly what the judge uses to determine an equitable division of assets and liabilities – what you get and what she gets. Here are the top six tips to putting together a bulletproof balance sheet for the judge:

Important point: Each asset and debt must have documented proof of their value. That means a statement of account with a current date and value must be provided. Otherwise, the judge will not be impressed and we always want to “impress the judge.”


  1. Add the total amount of assets from paragraph #1 to the total amount of debts from paragraph #2. This number would represent the total amount of the marital estate.
  2. Divide that number in half. Each spouse should be able to walk away with one-half of the total marital estate.
  3. Next, look at the assets and liabilities and distribute each to one spouse or the other. That means put your spouse on one side of the paper and you on the other. Put the name of the asset/debt under either spouse’s name. Distribute all assets and debts to one spouse or the other. Add each spouse’s values and compare them to the other spouse’s.
  4. Is the value figure about the same as the number you came up with in paragraph #3? If not, why? Is there a good reason?

Come up with two or three proposals that would be ballpark fair. Try to think of assets or liabilities that are important to you and your spouse. That is called compromise and is what a court will expect the parties to do. Take your proposals to your attorney and discuss how they are fair and how your proposal could work.

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