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Preparing for Divorce – Gather Basic Information

Preparing for Divorce - Gather Basic Information

Depending on your situation, a divorce can be very simple, very complicated or somewhere in between. In all cases, there is basic information you should gather as you start the process. Below is a list of things you should gather even before you meet with an attorney. Most attorneys will have you fill out a form containing this information and more in some form.

Debts

You should make a list of all the debts you know about. The list should include the name of the creditor, the account number and the balance due. One of the most important debts is mortgage debt. If you own a home, you should gather information concerning the balance on the note and any equity in the home. Generally, all debt is community debt and will need to be divided in a final decree.

Assets

Make a list of all the items you and your spouse own, including real estate, cars, time shares, furniture. As noted above, be sure to provide information about any equity in the home. List the cars and which spouse drives which car.  You don’t have to list every single item of furniture, but listing items by room could turn out to be very helpful if you and your spouse plan to divide up the furniture. Even if a person has already moved, out, he or she is still entitled to a just and right division of all assets.

Separate Property

Your separate property includes property you owned before you got married, gifts and property from inheritance or a Will. Make a complete list of all your separate property with the date it was acquired.

Income and Benefits

You should provide pay stubs for all jobs as well as proof of any business income. You should also gather tax returns and W-2 and 1099s.

Children

If you have children, list their full names and dates of birth. You should write down their schedules and include extra-curricular activities. If they have health issues or take prescribed medication, that information should be provided as well.

If you go into a meeting with this basic information, it will help make any meeting with an attorney more productive. Need a family or divorce attorney?