The 8 steps to write up a balance sheet
I have lost count the number of times when other lawyers haven’t focussed on what is the pool – and as a result a dispute at times has occurred which was entirely avoidable, while that lawyer comes up to speed.
Because of the need to know what the pool is, I always ask my clients before the first appointment to prepare a balance sheet and bring it in. Here are my tips about how to write it up.
Step 1: list all the property
List out all the property owned by each of you. Put beside each item who owns what- and then how much that property is worth.
I like to put under each item the debt for that item. For example, the husband and wife might own a house together. I will list out the address, who owns it, and the estimated value. I will then put as the next item who the mortgage is to, for example, Commonwealth Bank, and how much is owned- and them come to a net figure for that asset.
Step 2: total all the property
This then gives you the total gross property.
Step 3: list all the liabilities
Now list out the liabilities in the same way . Don’t double count! If you have put the mortgage and the car loan, for example, in the list of assets, don’t put them in here as well.
Step 4: total the liabilities
Step 5: subtract the liabilities from the gross assets
This will give you the net assets. Put this figure down.
Step 6: list the superannuation
In the same way, list the superannuation you believe each of you own.
Step 7: total the superannuation
Step 8: VOILA! Total the net property and superannuation
This will now give you the total net property pool of you and your ex.