Divorce takes time and money, but you do have some control over how much time and money is required. Asset and debt division is a major aspect of divorce and involves a lot of paperwork. If you are able to gather and provide most of these documents to your attorney quickly, it will hasten the process and will likely cut down on billable hours your attorney needs to spend tracking down this paperwork. Both are benefits to you.
What kinds of documents will you need to find?
You’ll want to provide your attorney with as many relevant documents as you can in these categories:
- Real estate, cars and big-ticket items (deed, mortgage documents, refinance plans, vehicle titles, loan paperwork, etc.)
- Income and assets (paystubs for both spouses, tax returns, lists of business expenses, assessments of net worth, etc.)
- Joint financial documents (bank statements for checking and savings accounts, investment account information, etc.)
- Retirement assets (plan statements for pensions, IRAs, 401(k) accounts, etc.)
- Any documents related to insurance – especially life insurance policies
- Debt-related documents (loans, credit card bills, medical bills, etc.)
Also, remember to keep copies for yourself in a secure location.
Get the process started by contacting an attorney
One of the best things you can do to help your own divorce is to find the right attorney for you. And once you do, please set aside time in your initial consultation to find out what paperwork your attorney may need from you. You’ll be able to both save time/money and feel like you are playing an active part of shaping your future.