If you are going through a divorce, the settlement is probably one of the top things on your mind. In order to get a fair and just settlement during the dissolution of marriage, there are certain documents that you need to have in order. Here are some things to make sure that you have for a fair divorce settlement.
The first thing that you need to do during divorce proceedings is show verifiable income, both for you and your spouse. This is needed to get a fair settlement whether you are trying to get alimony, avoid alimony, or work out child support payments. Regardless of the source of income you have, make sure you can provide proof of what it is and how much you earn. For a typical salary job, this includes providing your last paycheck stubs. If you own a business or work as an independent contractor, you can provide your tax documents.
Bank statements are also a good way to prove income. While you may not have your spouse's pay stubs, you can use the tax returns and bank statements to show their income as well. Remember unemployment insurance and pension benefits also count as income, so include that as well if it applies.
You should also know what type of debt you each have, and what joint debt you have. You can be responsible for your spouse's debt, so your lawyer will need this information. Any debt that was incurred after you got married will be considered marital debt in most cases. If you aren't sure about the debt and who is responsible for it, ask a divorce attorney.
For example, an exception would be if your lawyer found out that your spouse had a credit card all on their own that you didn't know about. This should not be something for which you are personally responsible. To get a fair divorce settlement, look through your records so you know exactly what debt you have and who it belongs to. This includes credit cards, personal loans, business loans, tax debt, medical bills, and anything in collections.
Separation of Your Assets
For a fair divorce settlement, you also need to know whose assets belong to whom. Like your debt, assets that you had before getting married should still belong to you. Assets acquired during your marriage become marital assets, so those will be split up between you and your spouse. This part can get tricky. Be open minded about the assets that you want and the assets that you are willing to give up. If you have two cars, it's easy to divide them. However, if you own one home together, you may need to decide if you will keep the home or your spouse will.
For more information, contact a family lawyer in your area.