Documents have been called the “lifeblood” of a divorce. From the obvious documents like tax records and bank statements, to the less obvious things like a child’s report card. Gathering the right documents in a quick time frame is key to empowering your divorce attorney to present the case in the most effective way possible.
In divorce proceedings, life-altering court decisions come down to what’s on paper. Having the right documents can avoid things turning into a “he said, she said” scenario. Documents can save you and your attorney time and money, and ultimately lead to an appropriate division of property.
Why It’s Important
Legal, financial, and other household documents are fundamental in terms of classifying marital assets, distributing property, determining spousal support/alimony requirements, and even influencing child custody and visitation schedules.
In order to get a clear view of the property and assets that are in play for equitable distribution, your attorney may need copies (electronic or hard-copies) of documents that could span from prior to marriage to present day, depending on the length of your marriage.
Which Documents to Gather
Documents including but not limited to mortgages, business agreements, W-2’s, credit card statements, online dating profiles, to your child’s artwork can play a role in a divorce case. The documents will often indicate important information, such as the date of purchase and how titled.
Your divorce attorney can quickly sort through the documents that support your case. A document that seemed trivial at first may end up being an important factor in negotiations or court. When gathering and preparing documents to provide to your attorney, a good rule of thumb to think of, is if it has a number on it, bring it. If you’re still unsure, when in doubt, bring it anyways – you never know what may end up being a crucial piece of the case.
We’ve made the NC Wake County Equitable Distribution Inventory Affidavit available to help you take inventory and gather the documents your lawyer will need.
The faster you provide the documents to your attorney, the better. Making copies and gathering all of the required documents in a timely manner will reduce the chance of a document being noticed as “missing” by your spouse.
Taking too long to furnish the paperwork can result in major roadblocks, setbacks, and keep your attorney in the dark while your spouses’ attorney may be well into their preparation. Although unfortunate, purposeful destruction or prevention of obtaining a document by the other party is always a possibility. Making your copies available to your attorney ensures that valuable information is in a safe place.
Equitable Distribution & Documents: Bringing It All Together
A family lawyer who is well-versed in divorce and property distribution may get more information from reviewing properly prepared documentation, than multiple meetings or phone calls. These documents may play a pivotal role in the outcome of court proceedings or negotiations.
To discuss your case and how documents can impact the division of property, please use the form below to contact the Cary family lawyers attorneys of Alexander & Doyle, P.A.