DivorceEmotionally Prepare For DivorceWhat Documents Do I Need To Prepare For My Divorce?

October 26, 20210
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A divorce may be one of the most significant upheavals of your life. Being organized and prepared will help make this overwhelming process just a little easier. Before you begin dividing the assets, you must first identify and classify them all.

So let’s get you started on what documents you need to prepare for a divorce in Texas.

Organizing all documents into several classifications may help. We can break it down into 3 major categories: Financial, Real Estate, and Other Assets.

Documents to Gather

Financial Documents

When deciding on alimony or child support, the courts will need to review the income of both individuals. These documents help the judge determine the financial obligations of each party.

  • Income tax returns – gather the last 3-5 years of your tax returns.
  • Paystubs – show all paystubs for you and your spouse over the last year.
  • Self-employed documents – if you or your spouse are self-employed, show check registers, bank statements, payment receipts, and profit and loss statements.
  • Stocks – put together all stocks, bonds, and IRAs that are your name alone, ones your spouse has in their name, and ones you own together.
  • Insurance documents – this includes life and medical insurance you and your spouse have through your employment.
  • Businesses – gather all documents related to any business interest held by you or your spouse.
  • All debt owed – this includes secured and unsecured debt. Gather all credit card statements, medical bills, loans, and any other obligation you have.

Real Estate Documents

When dividing real estate, the judge will consider several things: living arrangements for both you and your spouse, where children will live, and if the property was purchased jointly or before the marriage? When preparing for your divorce in Texas, you must list all property in Texas and other states.

  • The legal description of each property – you can find this on the deed of the property.
  • Current mortgage statements – showing the amount owed, taxes paid and insurance paid, and all other financial information about the land.
  • All documents regarding the initial purchase of the property – If you do not have the paperwork, you can ask your mortgage company for a copy.
  • Any refinance documents – show all records of refinancing the property.
  • Tax statements – the courts will want to see the taxes paid and owned on the real estate.

Other Assets

Other assets include everything else that belongs to you and your spouse. If possible, work with your spouse to determine how to divide assets. This will save time, money, and the grievance of having to fight for the small items.

  • Automobiles owned – show the title and debt owed on each vehicle.
  • Other vehicles – List other vehicles such as ATVs or motorcycles
  • List of assets – make an itemized list of essential items, such as furnishing, collectibles, and jewelry.

Get Organized

During this chaotic time, having the documents organized will help you have some control over the situation. Ask your attorney precisely what they need. Also, find out if your lawyer wants digital copies or paper copies of everything. Digital documentation may save your attorney from having to scan and organize the paperwork. Plus, this will save you legal fees!

But on the other hand, do not spend too much time gathering and organizing everything. Start by having 3 folders (financial, real estate, and other assets), then grab what you have and divide everything into the correct folder. Do this for paper copies and digital copies on your computer. Clean it up a bit and send it all to your attorney. They will give you a list of what else is needed.

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