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Gathering documents can help you prepare for divorce

Whether you think your divorce will move forward without conflict, or you think it will drag on for years, preparation can be vital.

One way to prepare for the marriage-dissolution process is to gather records and make documentation. Because many decisions could hinge on financial evidence, you will want to have necessary records available when needed. However, you may wonder what information will be pertinent.

Financial records

Because finances play a huge part in divorce outcomes, you may need to have several different financial documents within reach at a moment's notice. By having this information at the ready, you can quickly answer any questions regarding your income, your spouse's income, household expenses and other related information. Some specific documents you may want on hand include:

  • Bank statements
  • Proof of current income
  • Proof of your spouse's current income
  • Federal, state and local income tax returns
  • Retirement account information
  • Insurance policy records
  • Loan documents
  • Property appraisals
  • Debt information

These records and others could help you and your legal counsel gain an idea of what outcomes you may hope to achieve when it comes to property division, alimony, child support and other finance-related decisions that could affect the terms of your divorce settlement.

Legal documents

In addition to financial records, having your legal documents organized could also prove useful. Copies of your prenuptial agreement, separation agreement, wills, health care directives and other similar documents could also benefit you during this time.

If you choose to use legal counsel, you may gain useful insight into how those documents affect your divorce case and what changes you may need to make to certain documents after the divorce.

Other information

For you, these documents may only act as a starting point. Your particular case may require more documentation or records of other areas of your life that may have an impact on your divorce settlement. To begin working on your marriage dissolution, contact an experienced divorce attorney.

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