Documents To Gather For Your Divorce

The New Jersey Divorce process is complicated with many moving and interrelated parts. During this time, it is very important to give your attorney a complete picture of your life. This can be accomplished by providing your divorce lawyer with important documents so he/she can develop a strategy to negotiate the best deal possible for your future. You can help this process, and save yourself both time and money in legal fees by getting yourself prepared and organized. I’ve compiled a list of the most common documents we need when working with a client. Depending on why you are visiting, you may need some or all of them. Please feel free to print it out right off of this webpage and start using it as a checklist. Do not worry if you are unable to obtain or find everything, we can always help you gather certain pieces.

Personal Documents:

  • Your current driver’s license
  • Social security cards for you, your spouse, and all children.
  • Children’s birth certificates
  • Immunization and naturalization papers

Divorce Related Legal Documents:

  • Any pertinent or related correspondence from your spouse or his/her attorney
  • Any legal documents from previous issues related to this divorce.
  • Any previous divorce, alimony, child support and child custody agreements (if this is not your first divorce)
  • Any pre-nuptual or post-nuptual agreements.
  • Domestic partnership or dissolution documents
  • Domestic Violence or restraining orders.

Employment Records:

  • The three most recent pay-stubs for you and your spouse.
  • Social Security statement for both parties
  • Offer letters if starting a new job soon and employment contracts for current jobs.

Tax Documents:

  • Individual and business income tax returns for the past 3-5 years (state and federal)
  • W-2 statements for the past 3-5 years for both parties

Financial Records of Assests: please provide us with your statements for the last three years:

  • Bank statements for all accounts (joint and individual) for the past three years
  • Investment accounts including stock, bond, and mutual statements
  • Annuities, 529 college saving plans, or statements from other investment instruments
  • Stock options

Retirement Savings Accounts and Information: (current statement institution, balance, beneficiary, and outstanding loans).

  • Pensions
  • Annuities
  • 401(k) and other retirement funds
  • IRA’s (contributory and non-contributory)

Residential and Commercial Property owned by you and/or your spouse: It is helpful if you prepare a list with the address, use (residence, commercial, investment), owner(s), outstanding mortgage and any other loans against the property. We realize you may not have documents for properties owned solely in your spouse’s name but they will factor into your settlement agreements so please place them on the list. Please include copies of deeds as well as all mortgage and loan statements for the past three years.

  • Primary Residence (including a list of who is currently occupying the property)
  • Rental/investment properties (including rent roll and/or financial statements for last three years and copies of leases).
  • Vacation homes
  • Time shares (based on points, weeks, or other conditions)
  • Commercial property (including current tenets and leases).
  • List of property owned by each party prior to marriage
  • Information on any outstanding tax liens
  • Insurance documents related to each property

List of substantial personal property: pictures are beneficial. Also please indicate if the item was obtained during the marriage (gift or joint purchase) or which spouse brought it into the marriage.

  • Collectible items including: antiques, stamps, coins, baseball cards, artwork
  • Personal items such as jewelry, computers, clothing and furs.
  • Any vehicles you or your spouse own outright including cars and boats.

Other financial documents:

  • Location and contents of any safety deposit boxes.
  • Rental agreement if you currently rent your primary residence or vacation home.
  • Explanations of any inheritance received during the marriage (including from whom and date).
  • Any current or future interest from trusts and details regarding conditions.
  • Paperwork for any loans you have co-signed for others but are currently not the direct payor.
  • Auto Insurance- carrier name, policy number, vehicles covered, insured, term period

Heathcare Documents:

  • Health insurance information for each spouse and children
  • Living wills, Powers of Attorney, Advance Healthcare Directives, and Healthcare Proxies
  • Information on any outstanding medical bills for either spouse or children.

If you and/or your spouse own any (or multiple business) either together or jointly:

  • Business partnership agreements, shareholder agreements
  • Tax returns for the last three years (local, federal, and state)
  • Business profit and loss statements/balance sheets
  • Lists of Business' Assets and Debts
  • Rental agreement or deed from where the business is located.

Bills and Debts (include lender, three years of statements, current balance, and payment information:

  • Credit card statements (individual for either spouse and joint cards)
  • Outstanding personal loans for each spouse (school, debt consolidation)
  • Vehicle leases
  • Outstanding debt due to the IRS with payment schedule.

Household Documents

  • Utility bills paid monthly
  • Utility bills paid at other times of the year (sewer, water)
  • Monthly household budget

Child-Related Expenses:

  • Daycare
  • Educational expenses including tuition and tutors
  • Medical/mental heathcare (including prescription medications)
  • Clothing
  • Gifts
  • Extra-curricular activities

Estate Planning Documents (policy, carrier, insured persons, beneficiaries, and current and long-term cash values).

  • Wills
  • Life insurance
  • Long Term Care insurance
  • Disability insurance

This process can be daunting, even downright intimidating. An experienced NJ Divorce attorney will be able to guide you through the entire process and break tasks into manageable pieces and work with you to sift through documentation.