Divorce can be an emotionally challenging and difficult experience. However, it can even more challenging when you're unsure of the assets you'll need to divide in your divorce.
If you're unsure of what assets will need to be divided during your divorce, don't worry. You're not alone. Between 40 to 50% of all first marriages end in divorce according to American research estimates. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can make the division of your assets less complicated even before hiring your divorce lawyer. While your divorce lawyer can certainly help with this process, it's always a good idea to gather as much documentation as you can prior your case.
To figure out what assets will need to be divided during your divorce, consider the following steps:
- Find your financial documents
Find all the financial documents you can throughout your house. These documents include mortgage interest statements, credit card statements, bank statements, and retirement account statements. Scan these documents and keep them somewhere safe along with the originals. Consider making spreadsheets that will allow for a careful cataloging of every financial decision.
- Gather W2s and tax returns
Your divorce lawyer will agree that gathering pay stubs, W2s, tax returns, and LES' are definitely a good idea. During your case, the income that's being brought into the home will absolutely be touched on. What's more is that information can be pulled from these types of documents whether they be yours or your spouse's. Whatever documentation you can find, be they your spouse's or your own, be sure to obtain the information from them. Make copies and scans of the originals.
- File for a fault based divorce
In the event your spouse has hidden the financial documents necessary for your divorce case, the law firm representing you will recommend you file for a fault based divorce. A fault based divorce means the divorce process between you and your spouse is no longer uncontested and therefore may enable you to get into the courtroom more quickly. During a formal discovery process, your lawyer will be able to obtain the exact documents necessary for your case whether or not your spouse has hidden them. If your spouse will not provide them, a subpoena duces tecumseh will be used to obtain the documents from third parties.
Divorce can be difficult, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take the necessary legal steps to keep you and your finances safe during the process. You want to ensure that you're receiving the best possible outcome you can. To schedule an appointment with professional Virginia lawyers experienced in divorce and family law, contact Big Valley Law today.