Prepare for divorce by getting your paperwork in order

You'll have a lot going through your mind as you prepare for divorce. From questions about property division to child custody concerns, you'll always have another item on your to-do list.

There are many steps you can take to prepare for divorce, and getting your paperwork in order should be at the top of your list. Once you do this, you'll feel better about your ability to move forward in a concise and efficient manner.

Here is a short list of some of the more important documents:

  • Individual income tax returns: Collect all federal, state and local income tax returns for the past three to five years. Also, if you're a business owner, do the same for your company.
  • Bank statements: Request six months of bank statements from your financial institution. Remember to do this for all your accounts.
  • Proof of income: The easiest way to do this is with a pay stub. Gather your past six months of pay stubs to ensure that you can show your history.
  • Retirement account statements: Often a sticking point in divorce, retirement accounts will get a lot of attention. Just the same as your bank statements, the past six months is usually good enough to start.
  • Prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement: If you signed either of these legal documents, you'll want to review it and keep it nearby before and during your divorce. It may guide many of the decisions you make.
  • Mortgage statements: If you own a home with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, mortgage statements are a must. These show many key details, such as your monthly payment and remaining balance.
  • Credit card statements: Many divorcing couples have joint credit card debt. There are several ways to deal with this in divorce, but it all starts with knowing how much debt you have.

While these are among the more important documents to collect as you prepare for divorce, you may find that many others are critical to your situation.

Once you have everything in order, you'll feel better about consulting with your legal team in Everett and attacking everything that comes your way.

Read our past blog posts and visit our website for additional information on divorce and related topics in Washington.

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