If you are getting a divorced, you need to have all your ducks in a row. That can be a challenge.
In the past, you may have relied on your spouse to handle all the family paperwork. Or you might be forced to leave your home quickly and not be able to easily access your paperwork.
You should do your best to collect the items on this divorce paperwork checklist, though.
Show me the money – bank accounts and other financial statements
A divorce proceeding often boils down to a fight over a couple’s money.
In a relatively amicable divorce, the couple will openly share information about their assets and work together to find a fair split. You should not count on that, though. Getting information from your spouse in a contested divorce can be very costly and time-consuming.
The legal fees spent on trying to get information from your spouse can easily be higher than the amount of money you are trying to split. So, you should gather any financial information you can on your own. This is not just about assets, either. You should also collect records of any debts you know of.
Despite the progress that has been made in recent years, divorce is still generally the most harmful to women.
Men are still most commonly the family breadwinner, and wives often do not have the means to support themselves financially. Fighting for your fair share will be much easier if you know what you are trying to split.
Gather up any “dirt” you have
Think about what kind of claims you will be trying to prove in the divorce. For many people, this does not apply.
Many people just want to separate amicably and go their separate ways. Others, however, will want to prove abuse, adultery, substance abuse, or financial mismanagement and records are important.
For example, you might want to prove that your husband abused you. If so, you should make sure you have records. If he sent you abusive emails and text messages, print out copies. If he hit you or broke items in the house, gather up any photographs you have of the injuries or damage. If he was wasting the family money, get records of that as well.
A court will often take that into account when splitting a couple’s assets. For example, if a couple is struggling financially and the husband goes out and buys a fancy new car, the judge may deduct the cost of that car from the husband’s part of the divorce settlement. Some situations are far more extreme.
A husband may be spending family money buying nice things for his mistress for example, and that can alter the split in favor of the wife as well.
Make sure you have information
Thanks to the internet, this is less important today than it has been in the past.
You should still make sure you have the means to contact everyone that you might need to be in touch with. You may wind up cutting off from family members or friends that you only communicated with through your spouse, so make sure you gather up their information.