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Seven Sets of Documents You Need For YourDivorce
This article is designed to give someone who is considering or planning forthe possibility of divorce an idea of what documents are needed. Even if youbelieve your case is ultimately agreed to and settled without a trial, you willbe in a much better position if you already have the relevant documents inyour possession. Better safe than sorry.You should locate the relevant documents, make copies, and keep themsomewhere secure, like your office or with a friend. You will then haveaccess when it is needed.Here are the most important seven categories of documents you should focuson.1. Income DocumentsYour spouse's income is relevant to a number of issues in a divorce case. Ata minimum, get your spouse's last paycheck statement and your most recenttax return. Ideally, you would have access to all tax returns filed during themarriage, along with all supporting documents and schedules.2. Bank RecordsThe monthly bank statements are very important and can lead you to otherdocuments (cancelled checks, deposit slips, registers, etc.) that you also mayneed to obtain. Get at least the most recent statement for each account that iseither held in your name, your spouse's name, or jointly. If possible, getcopies of all statements going back to the date of marriage. In most cases thisvolume of records is not required, but in some cases these records can bevery helpful and even necessary to analyze the case.3. Retirement and Other Investment RecordsOften the biggest asset a couple will own will be a 401k or pension account.So you will definitely want the most recent account statement and ideally allstatements dating back to the time of marriage. Also, the last statement priorto marriage can be very significant (especially in community property states)to show the pre-marriage balance.4. Credit Card statementsAgain the most recent statements are a necessity, but a lot of importantevidence can be garnered from the historical statements. In some cases, thecredit card statements will show questionable transactions that can be of realevidentiary value. For example, they might show evidence of gifts or dinnerspurchased for paramours, questionable hotel rentals, or other dubiouspurchases.
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