The best divorce lawyers and their staff know it’s crucial to your case that you complete your financial disclosure statement accurately and provide the right financial documents. Here are a few tips that can make the difference between an extremely expensive divorce process and an affordable divorce.
- Keep all your financial records and any statements you receive while going through your divorce. If you think your spouse may take financial records, take them first and make photocopies. All of these documents will need to be shared between a divorcing couple at some point, but if you have copies of everything you need, it will reduce your stress and save fees in the long run.
- Provide your divorce lawyer with photocopies or PDFs of your documents, rather than originals. Talk to your local attorney’s office about how they would prefer to receive the information. This will save time, money and maybe even a few trees.
- Respond to requests from your attorney or paralegal promptly. Don’t make them have to track you down for information. The information your lawyer asks you to provide is necessary evidence in your case and is needed to keep things moving forward.
- Make sure the information you are giving to your family lawyer is complete. If you’re asked to fill out any forms, complete them to the best of your ability. If you’re asked to provide any sort of paper documentation, make sure you’re providing a complete document. For example, if the statement for your 401(k) is 12 pages long, provide all the pages, not just the first page that shows the balance.
- Keep track of your monthly budget, if you don’t already. When your final hearing is scheduled, your divorce attorney will ask you to update your financial disclosure statement, including your expenses. If you’ve been keeping track of what you spend, you can more confidently update this section.
- Consult with your family law attorney before you buy or sell anything of significant value. Buying, selling, trading or cashing in anything can impact your final divorce outcome.
About the Author
Meghan Petters has been with Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C. for over 15 years. She spent the majority of her time as a family law paralegal but has also been managing the firm’s social media platforms for many years. Prior to joining the firm, Meghan had a background in communications. She currently serves as the firm’s Social Media and Marketing Coordinator.