Documents You Need for Your Divorce
When your marriage is falling apart, and divorce is inevitable, things can become complex and difficult, including what documents are necessary to obtain. Emotions spike along with questions about the financial security of each of the parties involved. Depending on how long the marriage lasted, there may be a lot of work involved in the division of acquired property. In those situations, there is a highly qualified divorce lawyer in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, FL available to help ease some of your stress in the process—Attorney Matthew Z. Martell.
Before meeting with your divorce attorney for your Sarasota County or Manatee County divorce case, you will need to gather the following documentation:
- The last 3-4 years of federal, state, and local tax returns (If self-employed, you will need to provide the last 3-4 years of your business tax returns also);
- Verification of your current income
- W-2 Verification of the current income of your spouse;
- A prenuptial agreement (if applicable);
- Bank statements and certificates of deposits;
- Retirement account statements;
- Stock portfolio statements, and stock options records;
- Mortgages, deeds, and real property tax statements;
- Loan documentation and credit card statements;
- Documentation of any other debt obligation (e.g.- school tuition or medical bills that are unreimbursed);
- Financial statements and/or a monthly budget worksheet;
- Contracts regarding employment and employment benefits;
- Life, health, and dental insurance policies;
- Property appraisals for real and personal property;
- Homeowner’s and automobile insurance policies;
- Evidence of property owned prior to the marriage;
- Wills and trusts;
- Safe deposit box list of the contents;
- Durable Powers of Attorney, and;
- Advance Health Care Directives.
Every Case is Unique
Divorce lawyers near you like Matthew Z. Martell, Esq. are aware of the fact that just as each person is individual, so is his or her marriage. With each couple comes a new set of circumstances with or without assets. If children are involved, there is also the issue of child custody, visitation, and payment of child support to deal with in that divorce as well. Whatever your circumstances are, when you are in need of a divorce attorney, Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida residents need to make only one call. The Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell, P.A. can help you no matter how complex your situation may seem. You should ensure complete honesty with your divorce attorney regarding all assets and property relating to your marriage by providing him or her with the above-referenced divorce documents at your Initial Office Visit.
The Divorce Process
There are many forms that must be completed when filing for a divorce. When this becomes confusing and overwhelming, Sarasota divorce lawyer Matthew Z. Martell is here to help. A divorce is initiated by one spouse filing a dissolution of marriage petition in the Circuit Court of the Family Law Division. The petition for dissolution of marriage contains information pertaining to the divorce, listing the petitioner, respondent, and court in which this divorce is filed at the top of this court records. The date of marriage and the date of separation is also listed in this divorce petition. Additionally, requested terms of divorce, divisions of assets, child visitation/custody, child support, alimony, and attorney’s fees and costs may also be listed. After the divorce petition is served on the Respondent, then you both have 45 days to get your Family Law Financial Affidavit and your Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure filed. Most of the documents listed above must be produced to the other side in your Certificate of Mandatory Disclosure. That is why it is best to get started on it right away.
The Mediation Process
Once the divorce petition, family law financial affidavits, and Certificates of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure have been filed, the next big step in your divorce case is normally mediation. During divorce mediation, both parties will try to come to written agreement regarding the terms of the divorce. This is called a Marital Settlement Agreement. The Marital Settlement Agreement normally splits and divides all assets and all debts. It also normally lists all of each spouses assets and debts and what they are worth. This is another reason why it is better to get started sooner before later on compiling the above-referenced list of divorce documents and get them to your divorce lawyer.
The Divorce Settlement
The divorce settlement is often the result of the mediation. In your divorce settlement agreement, you will need to agree upon child custody and visitation arrangements. Also, in regard to child support or alimony, these amounts will be listed with the duration, payment frequency, and monthly amounts to be paid. In the case of property, the marital settlement agreement will state how the assets are to be divided, which parent may reside in the family home, or if it is to be sold. Things like child support and alimony are calculated based upon prior tax returns, W-2s, paystubs, and bank statements. Things like calculating the equity in a marital residence and one spouse buying the other one out are determined by appraisals and comparative market analysis (CMA) reports. Again, these are further reasons to provide a Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice, FL divorce lawyer Matthew Z. Martell with your financial records as soon as possible in your divorce. In summary, the sooner he has those records, the more quickly and effectively he can do his job for you.
If you are contemplating divorce, the Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell can help. Our legal professionals are here to discuss your divorce documents at (941) 556-7020 and will make a difficult situation more bearable. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a Phone Consultation regarding your divorce. We are here to help you!