Three Documents You Should Have Before Filing for Divorce

Preparation is the key to success in so many of life’s challenges, including divorce. If you think that your marriage is coming to an end and your relationship with your spouse is not salvageable, filing for divorce sooner than later could be instrumental for your happiness. Rushing into matters will not help, though. Instead, work closely with a family lawyer and make certain all of your important documents are in order before you file.

Three documents that everyone should create or obtain before filing for divorce include:

  • Financial records: Get one or two copies of your financial records for the past six months or so. With these in hand, the court can see how much income went into your marital property month over month, as well as a good idea of your necessary expenses. If your spouse should decide to try to blow through your shared finances in a fit of shopping-vengeance after being handed the divorce papers, your financial records can show the impact of the wrongdoing and improve your chances of getting your fair share, which is especially important in a high net worth divorce.
  • Property catalogue: Separate property – what you possessed on your own before you got married – is supposed to remain yours after a divorce in most cases. However, disputes over equitable distribution and who gets what can become muddled and confusing. If you created a catalogue of all your separate property, and the most valuable pieces of marital property, before you filed for divorce, you will be ready to more easily protect what should rightfully be yours.
  • Evidence of wrongdoing: New York no longer requires specific grounds for divorce but having particular reasons does not hurt your case in any way. Imagine if you are leaving your spouse because they had an extramarital affair. If you have any evidence of this behavior, such as emails between your spouse and the other man or woman, you could present it to the court to show that you put in more of an honest effort to keep your marriage stable than your spouse did. This may prove to work in your advantage when the court is divvying up property or rights, especially child custody rights; the court probably doesn’t want an irresponsible, dishonest parent looking over a child for the majority of the time.

Worst Case Scenario Divorces

Sometimes you need to get a divorce to protect your health and wellbeing after domestic violence has occurred. In such situations, you should also obtain a restraining order before filing for divorce, as being handed divorce paperwork could incite your abusive spouse. It is also highly recommended to get the police involved with your case, allowing them to be there when the paperwork and restraining order is served.

If you need more information about filing for divorce, you can get a free consultation from the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC. With our Dutchess County divorce attorneys by your side, you can be confident that your divorce will pan out as smoothly as possible. Call 845.605.4330 to get in touch with us today.

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