Once you have begun the divorce process, I will be asking you for certain information in addition to what you already provided during your initial consultation. You will need to gather documentation of what property you own, your income, and your debts. Once I have these documents, I’ll be able to work on the details of the property division.
Below is an example of the documents I’ll need in order to proceed with your divorce (this may change depending on your situation). Gathering some of these may involve a little time and effort on your part, but this is the documentation I need in order to protect your rights and make sure you get the settlement you deserve.
- Tax returns for at least 3 years
- Pay stubs for the last 6 months
- Documentation of large gifts or inheritance
- Partnership agreements or documentation of business interests
- Mortgage statements or deeds
- Closing documents for all properties
- Titles or loan documents for all vehicles (cars, motorcycles, boats, etc.)
- All bank statements for at least one year before the separation
- Insurance policies with cash value
- Appraisals of any jewelry, antiques, collections, furs, etc.
- Documentation of any other large equipment or machinery
- Last 3 statements from all IRA, 401(k), or other retirement accounts
- Last 3 statements from all stock, mutual fund, and money market accounts
- All partnership agreements or other business interests
- Vehicle notes
- Second mortgages, home equity loans
- All credit card statements for the last 12 months
- Any other loan documents
In addition, I may ask you to write a narrative of the problems you’ve experienced in your marriage, including any adultery, severe arguments, abuse, mysterious spending, and anything else you can think of. These documentation may lead me to other areas that need to be explored.
This seems like a lot of work, and it is. Don’t worry, your spouse won’t be left out. At some point I’ll send a request to the other party requiring them to provide similar documentation of their assets and debts.
It is vital that you take steps to protect yourself in a divorce. If your marriage is in trouble or your spouse has already filed for divorce, contact me to find out how I can help you.