Divorce can be a complex and emotional process, but having the right information and documents can greatly ease the stress and uncertainty of the proceedings. If you can bring that information to your divorce attorney during the first – or possibly second – meeting with them, then the entire process can be even smoother for you. While every divorce is unique, just about everyone entering a divorce can benefit from bringing certain useful forms of documentation to their divorce attorney.
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Typically, you should bring your divorce attorney documents that relate to:
- Income: Providing documentation of your income, including pay stubs and tax returns, can help your attorney to accurately estimate child support or alimony payments.
- Joint financial accounts: Any shared accounts, such as checking, savings, or investment accounts, could be divided in the divorce settlement. Your lawyer will need to see statements for these accounts to ensure a fair division.
- Marital debt: If you and your spouse have any outstanding debts, such as credit card debt or loans, your attorney will need to know about these. This can impact the division of assets and liabilities in the divorce settlement.
- Real estate: If you and your spouse own property together, or if either of you owns property separately, this will need to be addressed in the divorce settlement. Documents such as deeds, mortgage statements, and property appraisals can be helpful for your attorney to review.
- Shared insurance policies: If you and your spouse have any shared insurance policies, such as health or dental insurance, your attorney should get a chance to review them. These policies may need to be separated or modified after the divorce to ensure everyone keeps the coverage that they need in one way or another.
- Pension plans: If either you or your spouse has a pension plan or retirement account, this will need to be accounted for in the divorce settlement. Your attorney will need to see documentation of these plans to ensure a fair distribution.
- Family automobiles: Any cars or other vehicles owned by you or your spouse will need to be considered in the divorce process. Your attorney will want to see documents such as titles, registration, and insurance paperwork for these vehicles.
- Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements: Of course, if you and your spouse signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that outlines steps to take in a divorce, then your lawyer will want to start by reviewing it.
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