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What Information Do You Need to Have Prepared to File for Divorce?

What Information Do You Need to Have Prepared to File for Divorce?

Divorce isn’t something you plan for when you say their marriage vows at the altar. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go according to plan, and the same holds true for marriage. Almost 50% of all marriages will end with the married couple either divorcing or separating, including 41% of all first marriages, 60% of second marriages, and over 70% of third marriages. 

Regardless of your current marital status or the condition of your relationship, it’s important to be prepared for anything. If you’re finding yourself in need of one of the best divorce lawyers in Pasco, you’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss all the information and documentation you need to have prepared to file for a divorce. It will also discuss who to contact when you’re ready to take the next steps in that decision. 

Understand How Divorce is Going to Affect You and Your Family

Before filing for divorce, the first thing you should have isn’t a document. Instead, it’s knowing and understanding how a divorce will affect you and your family. Divorce means everything from your living situation to the amount of time you can spend with your kids, and every other aspect of your life is about to change. It’s a big decision that will take a mental, emotional, and financial toll on you and your family. Understanding the risks and changes involved is crucial before taking any further steps. 

Getting Started with Divorce Litigation

When you’re certain that divorce is the only course of action left for you to take, it’s time to get organized and gather together all the documents and information you’ll need to start the process. Documents will include everything from tax returns to pay stubs and everything in between. It will also include the legal documents necessary to initiate the divorce, including: 

Divorce Documents About Income and Finances 

Documents about your income and finances will be extremely important when the court makes decisions about child support and alimony. The documents you’ll need include anything and everything related to your income, employment, and any side hustles or second jobs. Here’s a list of financial, work, and income documents you should have prepared for your divorce. 

  • Paycheck stubs or digital receipts for any work that you did in the past year 
  • Have the same stubs and receipts for your spouse 
  • Tax returns for yourself and your spouse 
  • Receipts for any business expenses that you or your spouse made 
  • A list of any debts that you or your spouse owes as well as any debts that you owe together 
  • Documentation indicating how much money you have in any sole or joint bank accounts 
  • Documentation indicating how much money your spouse has in any of their sole bank accounts 

Essentially, any documentation or digital copies of information that have to do with work, income, and finances should be gathered together and prepared. It may be a good idea to purchase a binder or organizer to keep this information together in sections. Being organized will save a tone of time and a lot of headaches while you and your lawyer are going over information. 

Divorce Documents About Real Estate and Assets divorce attorney roach and bishop

In addition to any income, money, and tax returns that you have on hand, you’ll also need copies of assets, real estate, and investments that you and your spouse have. 

  • Any information about stock options or investments that could produce future assets 
  • Documentation about any real estate holdings or properties that you or your spouse own or that you own together 
  • Trust and/or college funds for you, your spouse, or your children 
  • A list of vehicles and their value 
  • A list of any collections you have that contain monetary value 
  • The type and amount of any retirement funds, pension funds, or mutual accounts that you and your spouse have 
  • Your current mortgage amount and information 
  • Any documents related to life insurance, health insurance, dental insurance, car insurance, and other forms of insurance 

While it’s always best to bring legal documents or photocopies of documents, this isn’t always possible with collections and automobiles. If you don’t have access to legal copies, do your best to make a comprehensive list of the items and their value. It’s also important to know your current monthly, quarterly, and annual expenses and the expected cost of supporting you and your children when the divorce is finalized.  

The Legal Documents Needed to File for Divorce

In addition to all the documents listed above, there are also several legal documents that you’ll require. 

A divorce petition  

If you are taking the first step and are initiating the divorce, you’ll have to file a divorce petition. A divorce petition isn’t something you have to draw up yourself but rather a document that the experts at Roach & Bishop will assist you with. It will lay out the terms and plans of the divorce and why you’re initiating the process. 

A counter-petition

If your spouse has filed for divorce and served you your papers, you’ll draw up a counter-petition with the help of Roach & Bishop. Your counter-petition will be similar to the petition you’ve been served but will essentially tell your side of the story and what you want the terms and conditions to be. 

A parenting plan

If you and your soon-to-be-former spouse have children, you must have a detailed parenting plan stipulating who is in charge of your children’s finances, education, and other crucial decisions. 

Additionally, you should also have copies of your: 

  • Marriage license 
  • Birth certificates 
  • Social security cards 
  • Passports 
  • Drivers License 

You should also have copies of these items for your children. 

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s a lot of information and documents you should have if you’re planning to file for divorce. However, there’s no need to get overwhelmed and panic because the Family Law litigation professionals at Roach & Bishop are here to help. Once you enlist our services, we’ll assist you through every phase of the divorce and help you gather together any documents and materials you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with the best divorce lawyers in Pasco, WA! 

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