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Information to gather when filing for divorce

When you file for divorce, you’re asking to break a legal contract with your spouse. You have that right, of course, but it’s important to remember that this is a legal process and not just the end of a romantic relationship.

If you had signed a business partnership agreement that you wanted to break, for instance, it would be clear that you’d need to look into the proper steps to take and gather all pertinent information. This is the same approach you need to apply to your divorce. With that in mind, here are some of the documents you should begin get together before you meet with a family law attorney:

  • Proof of income for both you and your spouse
  • The tax returns you have filed over the last three years, at a minimum
  • A copy of your prenuptial agreement if you have one
  • Statements for investment accounts, retirement accounts and pensions
  • A copy of your life insurance documents
  • Credit card statements and any documents relating to loans, such as your mortgage
  • Bank statements
  • Proof of the bills you have to pay, including everything from the electric bill to a child’s tuition
  • Proof of any major purchases
  • Information regarding separate property, such as an inheritance that you have kept separate from your other finances
  • All insurance policies
  • A current budget and, if possible, a proposed post-divorce budget
  • Your estate planning documents, such as a will, trust and advance directive
  • A list of all items that you own that have significant value

This is not everything that you will need, but it helps you get started and see what types of things you need to focus on as you start exploring your legal options with your attorney.

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