When you think a divorce may be in your future, or if you have already been served with paperwork by your spouse, it is a good idea to gather important documents that you will need while your case is pending. Keep these documents in a safe place such as a safety deposit box. If you are unable to obtain originals of the most important documents you will need when filing for divorce, keep copies in a safe location.
If you are facing problems in a marriage that have caused you to be afraid of domestic violence and your spouse is unaware that you are intending to leave the marriage, it is essential to keep any documents that you may need when filing for a divorce in a safe, secure spot or with a trusted friend or family member. In relationships where there has been a pattern domestic violence, one of the most dangerous times for a spouse is when they leave the relationship, so your safety and security should be a priority when you are preparing to file for divorce.
A good place to start when you are preparing documents to file for divorce is to make sure you have a current state-issued identification, Social Security card, and birth certificate as well as originals or copies of these documents for any minor children that were born during the marriage. This information is necessary for submitting a complaint for divorce or dissolution of marriage in Missouri, and you will need identification information for your minor children if you will be requesting or paying child support.
Income, Assets, and Debts
After you have filed for divorce, you will need to gather documents to show proof of income if your case involves child support or alimony, which is also known as spousal support. Your marital assets and debt will be subject to division in a divorce, and financial documents are essential for ensuring that division of marital assets and debt is fair and complete.
- Income -Tax returns and pay stubs are standard ways to prove income. If you are self-employed or are not currently working, bank records are a good place to start for proof of income.
- Assets - You will need to make a list of all your assets, and you should gather any documents that are related to those assets such as car titles, deeds, mortgage documents, and retirement account information. Even if an asset is only titled in your name or your spouse's name, it is still considered marital property if it was acquired during the marriage.
- Debts - You will also need to gather information regarding marital debt. Many people are unaware of how much debt they actually have. A good place to start when preparing to file for divorce is to obtain a credit report, as well as any credit card statements that you can access.
It is not uncommon for one spouse to manage the bills during a marriage, which can pose challenges when you are trying to account for all marital assets and debts when filing for a divorce. If you do not have access to all documents you need regarding your financial information, your attorney can request these documents after a complaint for divorce has been filed. Your attorney can advise you as the case is pending about what additional information and documentation you will need to provide to the court.
Schedule a Consultation with a Missouri Divorce Attorney
Missouri-licensed attorney Joshua Wilson handles all types of family law cases, including divorce litigation. Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm online or call (816) 331-9968 to schedule a consultation.