Documents You Need For Your Divorce Attorney:

Among all the complexities of a divorce case, cataloguing and organizing a couple’s financial documents is perhaps the most daunting task for anyone going through the divorce process.  But, correctly navigating through the discovery process (the procedure used by the Court to collect financial documents), is extremely important.   Identifying and dividing property a couple has acquired throughout their marriage can be one of the most contentious pieces of a divorce as well.  This is why it’s so important to have an experienced family law attorney by your side to help you properly assess and value your marital estate

You can help save your attorney time (and save yourself some money) by gathering important legal and financial documents together before the initial consultation. Doing this ahead of time, or at least in the early stages of your case, gives your attorney an immediate overview of the property and assets likely to be at issue in your case.  More importantly, however, it lets your attorney identify issues that may need to be dealt with on a temporary and/or immediate basis with the Court, such as temporary support payments, allocation of monthly debts during the case, interim attorney’s fees, and other issues.

The following is a list of suggested documents that are always helpful when trying to assess a client’s assets, debts, and financial needs in a divorce case:

  • Prenuptial Agreement, if you have one
  • Any prior Court Orders or Separation Agreements
  • Individual income taxes for at least the last 2 years (with worksheets)
  • Any Business Tax Returns
  • Your most recent year-end paystub, and also your most recent 5 paystubs for the current year
  • Proof of your spouse’s current income, if you possess this
  • Any employment contracts for you or for your spouse
  • Most recent Banking Statements for all accounts
  • Most recent statements for any investments, stocks, or retirement accounts
  • Pension statements
  • Any Trust Documents
  • Health Insurance statement
  • Most recent Mortgage Statement
  • Real Estate appraisals (if done within the last 12 months)
  • Property Tax Statements
  • Most recent Credit Card Statements for all accounts
  • Any other loan documents showing current balances and payment schedules (i.e. car loan)
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • List of Items you consider to be Separate Property (property you had prior to marriage, or that was gifted to you)

Admittedly, the above list is extensive, and it will take time to get these documents together.  But, it’s also not exhaustive, as only your attorney can properly advise you on what specific documents will be needed for your case.  If you’re considering filing a new divorce, or you’re looking to reopen some financial issues in a past divorce, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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