What Paperwork Is Needed for Divorce?

Divorce, just like marriage, is a legal process that requires documentation. There are two types of paperwork needed for divorce proceedings: the first type is the paperwork you will need to provide to your lawyers and to the courts, and the second type of paperwork is the documents that are created during the divorce that the spouses have to sign and agree upon.

Part of the process of division of property in a divorce, as well as to help decide on spousal or child support, requires that income information is provided. This may include pay stubs, paperwork showing any payments received for self-employment, contract work, or small business services provided to clients, similar paperwork for small business expenses, tax returns, and loan information. These are all necessary paperwork for a divorce because they establish the income and net worth of each spouse.

Furthermore, documents like deeds to a home, or other documents proving proof of ownership of property and real estate, mortgage documents, home loans, purchase agreements, and refinancing paperwork will also be required. Tax assessment statements and appraiser evaluations may also be necessary. Since the family home is one of the largest assets that the couple had during the marriage, having all this paperwork for your divorce will help speed up the process.

Other financial information that is necessary is the details about savings and checking accounts, bank statements, stock certificates, life insurance policies, insurance information for the family’s healthcare or other plans, any medical bills, including prescriptions, and paperwork documenting outstanding debts accrued. Additionally, wills, trusts, statements for any retirement, pensions, 401K plans, IRAs or other accounts that defer compensation will be necessary. Titles and registration for the vehicles that the couple owns or leases will also be required. Even registrations for firearms may be needed. All these files and statements may come into play while making an agreement about division of property, and they may be considered when support for children or a spouse is determined. A list of monthly expenses should be provided as well to help determine the amounts that must be paid for support in cases that involve spousal or child support.

Clearly, there are a lot of documents involved in a divorce, but the documents that are created  to record the divorce proceedings and agreements made by the couple are fewer in number than those needed to come to those agreements. Some of the forms and documents that result from divorce proceedings are the initial petition for divorce, a financial affidavit that explains how the finances have been divided, and a settlement agreement, also known as a marital settlement agreement, that discusses any custody arrangements, support agreements, and any property agreements that were not covered in the financial affidavit. Lastly, the final judgment that the judge gives granting the divorce is the last document in the process. All these forms and documents will need to be filed with the county clerk’s office, which may be handled by the lawyers if lawyers are used during the process.

While there is a lot of paperwork needed for a divorce, knowing ahead of time which documents you will need can make the process go a little faster because you can find the necessary files and have them in order when the process begins.