What Documents Do You Need In A Divorce?
Every marriage — and divorce — is different. There will be different elements involved in each. There may or may not be children involved. Each couple has different assets and liabilities. Couples are married for different amounts of time. Some parties work, while others stay at home with the kids.
Because of this, if you are considering divorce, your lawyer will need some information about your marriage. This means you will need various documents showing things such as income, assets, debts, expenses and any insurance policies. These documents will show what needs to be split in a divorce. You can submit this documentation in hard copy or digital form, but make sure to keep copies for yourself.
So what exactly do you need to get started? It’s a good idea to discuss this with your lawyer first, but in general, you will need the following documents.
Proof of Income
You will need pay stubs showing the pay you and your spouse received over the past year. If you or your spouse is self-employed, then business forms and tax returns will be needed, as well as documentation showing all business expenses. Actually, you’ll need three years’ worth of tax returns anyways, so get those ready.
You will need two years of statements from all bank accounts, whether they are individual or joint. If you have retirement accounts, 401(k)s, IRAs, investment accounts and/or savings accounts, you’ll need statements from those as well.
Real Estate Documents
Gather any documentation showing ownership of real estate, such as mortgage bills, deeds, tax statements and other documents showing that you own property.
If you own vehicles, you’ll need title and registration information. This includes ATVs, boats, motorcycles, snowmobiles and farm equipment. If you still owe money on your car, you’ll need to gather loan information, such as monthly payment information and balance.
Life Insurance Policies
Life insurance can mean income in the event of a death, so if you or your spouse has such a policy that pays out in the event of your, your spouse’s or your children’s deaths, then you’ll need to show proof of this. Gather any monthly statements from your insurance company or employer, depending on how you acquired the policy.
Proof of Debts
While you may have many assets, you likely have debts as well. Any credit card debt, personal loans and medical bills need to be disclosed. If you have these or other debts, you’ll need to provide documentation, such as monthly statements and balances.
Seek Legal Help
While you might be in a rush to get divorced, being prepared has its benefits. Take the time to gather the required paperwork and you’ll save time and money in the divorce process.
Divorce is a major event that requires planning. For help understanding the process and requirements, contact Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Edward J. Jennings, P.A. Our office can help streamline the process so you can end your marriage with less stress. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or calling 954-764-4330.