Divorce can be an emotionally challenging time for Maryland couples. The end of a marriage can be a complicated time to process your changing feelings and relationship. However, it is also a very practical process with major financial implications for the future. Even when the divorce is relatively amicable, there are still important matters to resolve about how to divide assets, handle child custody and support, and manage any alimony. By having key documents prepared for your first meeting with your divorce attorney, you can get ready for the changes to come.
Get ready by assembling a file
When it comes to negotiating a divorce settlement, paperwork is one of the most important things that you can provide. When you meet with your divorce lawyer, you can bring a file with you that contains key financial documents, property records and other legal documentation. This will enable your attorney to move forward with your case more quickly and communicate more effectively with your spouse’s lawyer.
Prepare your financial records
Financial documents are some of the most important for the divorce process. This includes documentation of your income, pay stubs and tax returns, as well as bank statements, investment and retirement account statements, pension plan documents and any records of your net worth. If you own property as a couple, real estate documents and deeds are important, even if one spouse holds the house as separate property. Insurance documents, such as life insurance policies, are also key to understanding the full financial picture of the marriage.
Of course, in addition to your assets, you should prepare documents about outstanding debts, such as credit card bills, mortgages and car loans. Business owners may have additional information to provide, including documentation about the business’s founding, accounting records for the business and any assets or liabilities held by the business itself. With these documents on hand, your lawyer will be well-informed to move forward with the divorce process.