Don'T Get Overwhelmed With Divorce Documents

Divorce can be a confusing time and the amount of paperwork that comes from a divorce action can be overwhelming. To help sort things out, the below explains what to expect so that you can be ready when paperwork is requested or arrives at your home.

Separation Agreement 

Some states require this document, and some do not. However, it's very useful in any case. Your divorce lawyer can help you lay out how you want things to be during your separation. It gives legal teeth to your plans concerning child custody, visitation, use of the family vehicle, who stays at the family home, and more.

The agreement is backed up by orders from the judge, though they are temporary orders that expire when the divorce is final. Don't forget to ask the court to order child support and spousal support if it's needed and necessary, even during the separation.

Restraining Orders

While the above may be most readily associated with domestic violence issues, a restraining order can apply to other issues too. You can have the judge issue a restraining order that covers these things:

  • Stopping a spouse from selling a vehicle or other property.
  • Preventing a spouse from canceling insurance (of all types), cell phone coverage, utilities, and more.
  • Orders ensuring that mortgages and rents are paid.

And more.

Divorce Papers

You or your spouse may file for divorce first. The petition will contain everything being requested by the party that filed first. The other party has a certain amount of time to respond to the petition. If you don't have a divorce lawyer at this time, you must get one as soon as possible.

Financial Documents

Divorce is mostly a financial move, though it may not feel like that to the parties involved. Full financial disclosure is the key to making rulings about several important issues. For example, child support is determined almost entirely by a parent's income.

Assets and debts will seriously affect the divorce settlement agreement. Expect to submit tax returns, bank statements, and more.  Retirement funds may be marital property, as they are in most cases. A 401(k) can be divided by the parties using a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). Other common documents you may need to gather include:

  • Mortgage and other loan paperwork
  • Life and health insurance information
  • Real estate deeds and auto titles

And more.

Your lawyer will provide you with a list of what to submit.

To find out about any of the above, speak to your divorce lawyer.