What Information to Gather for a Possible Divorce
If you're thinking about possibly leaving your spouse, there are a few documents and statements to grab that would be helpful to your attorney.
If you're reading this post, you're probably thinking about divorce or have made the decision to start looking for an attorney.
First off - don't feel bad. Hear me out on this - I'm not advocating for divorce. Divorce gets much worse before it gets better and it is a grueling process for all parties involved.
However, there are some situations where divorce is necessary: abuse, emotional manipulation with no hope of changing, or you just changed as a person and your spouse doesn't understand you anymore, if you're miserable - its not worth it.
Next, read our other post on the Divorce Process and take a look at the Divorce Flowchart on our Divorce Practice Areas Page. These posts will help you understand exactly what you're getting yourself into and the process and procedures to expect during your divorce.
If you're ready to speak with an attorney -- wait! There are certain documents and information you'll have to turn into the court/other side within 30 days of filing your suit that you'll want to gather first. By gathering them first, you'll be giving your attorney the ammunition they need to effectively represent you and ensure all of your claims are set out appropriately in your pleadings.
The following documents are particularly helpful to have before you proceed with the divorce proceeding:
all deed and lien information on any real property owned and all lease information on any real property leased for the last two years;
all statements for any pension plan, retirement plan, profit-sharing plan, employee benefit plan, and individual retirement plan for the last two years;
all statements or policies for each current life, casualty, liability, and health insurance policy for the last two years; and
all statements pertaining to any account at a financial institution, including banks, savings and loans institutions, credit unions, and brokerage firms for the last two years.
The following information will also be needed by your attorney:
the name, address, and telephone number of any potential parties;
the name, address, and telephone number of persons having knowledge of relevant facts, and a brief statement of each identified person's connection with the case;
a copy - or a description by category and location - of all documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things that the responding party has in its possession, custody, or control, and may use to support its claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely for impeachment;
any marital property agreements;
any witness statements described in Rule 192.3(h);
in a suit alleging physical or mental injury and damages from the occurrence that is the subject of the case, all medical records and bills that are reasonably related to the injuries or damages
the name, address, and telephone number of any person who may be designated as a responsible third party.
In addition, if you have children, then the following documents are necessary:
information regarding all policies, statements, and the summary description of benefits for any medical and health insurance coverage that is or would be available for the child or the spouse;
the party's income tax returns for the previous two years or, if no return has been filed, the party's Form W-2, Form 1099, and Schedule K-1 for such years; and
the party's two most recent payroll check stubs.
NOW, you're ready to start looking for an attorney! Good luck and please keep us in mind when you have legal needs.
Call the law offices of
Fergus & Tomanka, PLLC
to schedule an appointment today!
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