What types if information should I try to gather for my divorce attorney in New Jersey?
A general checklist of documents and information you should try to gather in preparation for divorce.
Financial Documents regarding income and assets.An experienced divorce attorney will gain valuable information by reviewing your tax returns. You should gather copies of the complete State and Federal Returns, along with all Schedules, supporting documents, such as 1099s, 1098s, W-2s, and other items provided to your accountant. Provide current paystubs for any working spouse. Provide QuickBooks records and reports. Provide bank and brokerage account statements, retirement account statements, including pensions. If you do not have access to this information and your spouse will not provide access, do not be discouraged. An experienced divorce attorney will have other methods for obtaining the information. If your tax returns were filed "jointly," you can request them or a transcript of recent years from the IRS. Get an idea what your home is worth. It may be premature to have a formal appraisal, which costs money, but you can have a realtor give you an opinion or look up the approximate value online.
Child Custody evidenceIt is important to keep a "custody" and "parenting time," journal. A simple day planner can be very useful for this purpose. You should make note of time that each parent spends with the children, important events in the child's life, doctor's appointments, parent/teacher conferences, and so forth. You should make note of any parenting time that your spouse forfeits or when he or she is late to pick the children up. You should also note instances where the other spouse interferes with your parenting time. You should be familiar with your child's friends, their friends' parents, their teachers, coaches, counselors, doctors, and everything affecting their day-to-day lives. Do not rely upon the other parent to provide this information to you.
Look into your liabilities and debts.Credit card statements and other evidence of outstanding indebtedness will also be important. If you contend that certain debts were incurred prior to the marriage, start looking for proof of that. Request your credit report. You may want to consider requesting a title search on real estate.
Personal Property tips.Take a photograph or several of each room of your home or homes. Make an inventory of furniture and furnishings. Obtain values for automobiles on a car valuation website such as kbb.com or edmunds.com. Check your homeowners' policy for separately scheduled valuables such as furs, jewelry, firearms, coin collections, artwork, etc.