An Organized Divorce: Getting Your House in Order
If you are considering divorce or are in the process of a divorce currently, you have a lot of incentives to become organized. Getting and staying organized can actually increase your chances of success in the divorce process. Not only does organizing your personal records and documents help your attorney, but it can also provide peace of mind and help you understand your own situation better.
Your attorney will undoubtedly request documents from you to better understand, among other things, your financial situation. Financial documentation is critical in the determination of property division, maintenance, child support, and debt allocation. Information on individual and family spending habits, debts, and income/cash flow is necessary for resolution of the financial aspect of a divorce—and it can even have an impact on other issues such as child custody. Having this information readily available helps your attorney work on resolving all of these issues right off the bat and helps him or her have a better idea of where the case is headed and how the overall picture looks.
When your attorney has better and more detailed information, this helps your divorce case, which of course helps you. But there are additional benefits to you by becoming organized with your information and documentation. If you take the time to gather and review important documents early on, you can understand your own situation better and make more informed decisions later on. You may also reduce any pressure later on of locating critical documents under time constraints.
Once you select an attorney that you are comfortable with, he or she will want to meet with you to discuss the details of your case. It is always helpful to bring your personal documentation with you to these initial meetings so that your attorney can review the information as soon as possible. It is best to organize these documents beforehand so that each item can be easily identified and referenced. For example, you could maintain documentation in a file box with folders, dividers, and tabs to label each type of document (e.g. bank statements, mortgage documents, etc.). If bringing in documentation in paper form, it is wise to make copies of everything beforehand, being sure to ask your attorney if and when originals are required.
Keeping Electronic Files Organized
You may also choose to organize your files electronically and provide a portable drive, CD or DVD to your attorney. Granting access to secure online file storage or a cloud disk drive is another option. All electronic files should be organized using folders, sub folders, and file names that will help your attorney (and you!) easily locate and identify the contents.
While it is of course ideal to have all of your financial documentation readily available and easily identifiable early on in your divorce case, attorneys understand that this is not always possible. If you are struggling to locate documents or determine which are important to your case, it is always a good idea to discuss these issues with your attorney. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we understand how confusing and complicated it can be to locate all of the financial documentation needed for a successful divorce case. We can help you, early on in the process, to identify important information and keep you organized and educated about your financial situation. We will work with you to make sure we have the best, most up-to-date information on your financial situation possible. And we will work with you to use that information to resolve all of your divorce issues in the best way possible. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case and the documentation needed to help you succeed in your divorce.