One recommendation for California residents before they meet with their divorce lawyer is to gather and organize all documents related to their life during the marriage. Arriving for your consultation with a divorce lawyer with these documents in an organized file can save you time and potentially money on the process. As well, it might allow you to feel more in control of your situation during a period that can feel overwhelming.
What types of documents should you gather?
There are a variety of documents that you need to gather and organize to address different aspects of your life. These include those related to:
- income earned by you and your spouse
- any real estate bought by you and your spouse
- vehicles and other valuable property, such as jewelry and art
- savings and investment accounts
- life insurance, retirement accounts and pensions
What types of documents will provide evidence of income?
You will need documents that show income received by both you and your spouse during your divorce settlement negotiations. These documents can include pay stubs, income tax returns and business-related documents, such as bank statements and receipts.
Getting ready for the division of property
During the divorce, you and your spouse will need to go through a division of property process. For this, you will need to have documents the show evidence of your marital assets. Documents related to real estate include any financing documents, tax assessor’s evaluations and current mortgage statements. You should also include any vehicle titles or registrations, account statements for savings and investment accounts from the past 3 years as well as any investment certificates. Finally, you will also want to include life insurance policies and statements and pension and retirement account statements.
In addition to documents that are evidence of assets, you will also need to disclose all debt. As part of this, you will also need the supporting documentation.