Taming And Understanding Divorce Paperwork

Law Blog

If you're involved in a divorce, you may be surprised at how confusing the entire process can turn out to be. It might help to look over a quick survey of commonly used documents for divorce, which can assist in preparing for the stressful times ahead. Read on to become more familiar with some common divorce paperwork.

Legal Separation Agreement: While this agreement is pretty much optional in almost all states, it would be a shame to pass up the chance to get some provisions in place during the transition period between separation and the final divorce decree. Why?

1. You will need to set up a child support provision to ensure that you can care for your child.

2. You are entitled to get spousal support during the separation and this agreement is the way to do so.

3. You can draw a virtual line with debts so that going forward you won't be responsible for your spouse's credit card use.

The Parenting Plan: Often, the provisions for dealing with child custody and visitation come in the form of orders during the divorce process that are then folded into the final decree, unless it becomes a contentious issue. There are two basic ways of looking at parenting plans, or custody.

  1. One is shared or 50/50 plans. These plans allow both parents to participate in child-rearing equally, and involves the child going back and forth from one house to another.

  2. The other more commonly used method for dealing with this is joint custody. The joint part of the title refers to both parents having equal legal responsibility, while the child resides primarily with one parent.

Part of the joint custody parenting plan will include visitation for the non-custodial parent, unless there are reasons to avoid it (incarceration, drug issues, etc).

Tax Returns and Financial Papers: You should go ahead and get these ready, and you will likely need to give your attorney the last couple of years returns. If you don't have access to them, you can request a transcript from the IRS. This is part of the financial disclosure section of divorce. Other related documents that may be needed are:

  • real estate deeds
  • car titles
  • bank (checking and savings) account information
  • investment account information
  • life, heath and other types of insurance information
  • loans and credit card debt information

Every divorce situation is unique, so check with your divorce attorney to get some more information about what documents you may need. Contact a firm, like Franklin & Rapp, for more help.

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18 January 2018

Dealing with Estate Planning When You're Single

Too many single people assume they don't need to plan their estate. My brother fell into this category, and his unexpected passing left our entire family struggling to deal with his home, belongings, and financial accounts. It took nearly three years for the courts to set up a deal because he left no paperwork detailing how he wanted his estate divided. The situation immediately convinced me to work on my own estate, even though I'm still in my early 30's and don't have children or a spouse to worry about. Since it's a little harder to pick beneficiaries and estate managers when you're single, I collected the resources I used for making my own decisions and decided to publish them here on my blog. Use these resources before talking to an estate planning attorney so you're prepared for making hard decisions.