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Information Gathering

When a divorce is contested, it can be a very drawn out, long, and complex process. Due to the intricate nature of a contested divorce, the more knowledge your attorney has, the better they will be able to evaluate your case and advocate on your behalf. Consequently, it is vital to provide your attorney with all relevant information relating to your current financial situation, personal history, and possible issues with custody. Below is a list that displays information and documents to gather early in the divorce process.  When divorce appears imminent and you are sufficiently prepared, it can situate you with a beneficial and strategic advantage. Alternatively, if your divorce turns out to be uncontested, these documents will also be necessary to accurately divide assets and liabilities.

It is vital to provide your attorney with all relevant information relating to your current financial situation, personal history, and possible issues with custody. 

Financial Information and Records 

  1. Tax returns from the past three (3) years
  2. You and your spouse’s most recent paystub
  3. A current statement of all checking accounts (jointly and individually held)
  4. Current statements for all investment accounts (including but not limited to IRAs, 401Ks, 403Bs, brokerage accounts & pensions)
  5. A credit card statement for all accounts (jointly and individually held)
  6. A current mortgage statement reflecting monthly payment amounts and the total principal balance
  7. Any and all documents showing title and/or ownership of real property (both jointly and individually held) including but not limited to deed, HUD statement etc. 
  8. Write out and take pictures of any safe deposit box’s contents
  9. A  complete listing of all assets. Please note whether the assets are held jointly or separately and whether any accounts or assets were attained before marriage 
  10. A total listing of all debts and liabilities held jointly or separately and notations on which parties are obligated and the primary party presently making payments

 

Personal Identification Information

  1. Passport (this includes your own and for your children if applicable) 
  2. Social Security Card (this includes your own and for your children
  3. Your driver’s license
  4. Any other important ID cards (for example, if you are military, your military ID or if you have any other professional ID cards)

 

Information Relating to Your Children

  1. Complie your child's school records. This includes, report cards, disciplinary reports and any other important documents
  2. Any receipts or records of monthly child care expenses - try to find documents that include the amount paid (this could help with calculating child support)
  3. Any journals showing potential custody issues; i.e. travel calendar, non-exercised visitation if you have already separated, involvement/non-involvement in extracurricular activities.
  4. All medical records for your children

 

Insurance Policies

  1. Most recent medical insurance policy
  2. Most recent life insurance policy
  3. Most recent car insurance policy
  4. Most recent homeowner’s insurance policy

 

Other Important Information

  1. Any current Will and/or Trust documents if they exist
  2. Any criminal records and/or current lawsuits that you may be currently involved in
  3. Any documentation or reports of domestic violence or abuse
  4. Any documentation that may show evidence related to infidelity or adultery 
  5. A list of all e-mail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts owned by you and your spouse

This list of documents to gather may seem fairly comphrehesive. Not everything on this list will apply to you. It's ok if you are unable to gather all of this information. However, the more information and documents you can gather, the more likely it is that you will be well positioned at the beginning of the divorce. It may wise to consider speaking with an experienced divorce attorney once you have gathered the above above information. An experienced attorney will know how to process this information and use it to help you during the divorce. Consider contacting one of our experienced Orlando or Tampa divorce lawyers. 

 

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