Alaska residents who just started going through divorce proceedings may be planning to retain a family law attorney to help them with the process. If this is the case for you, you’ll want to get some documents in order before going to speak with your attorney. There are a lot of documents that you and your ex will need to exchange in order to determine how your assets will be split, and it is faster and less costly if you can each have your papers ready to go rather than getting them through protracted discovery.
Income and other financial documents
Both you and your spouse are entitled to know what the other was earning during marriage. Absent a prenuptial agreement, any earnings from either spouse are considered marital property and divided equitably in a divorce. To prove your and your spouse’s income, compile all pay stubs you have for the past few years as well as any tax returns, whether you filed jointly or separately.
Other sources of financial revenue may also be subject to division in a divorce, so you will need statements from joint and separate bank accounts and investment accounts. Even if all of the money held in your separate account really is separate, you will likely need to prove this to your ex.
Documents showing debts and property ownership
Marital property also includes debt incurred by either spouse, so things like credit card or medical bills that show outstanding debt should be shown to your family law attorney. You should be prepared to furnish documents reflecting your home or car purchase price, amounts paid toward the home or car, and the outstanding balance. You may also need the car’s title and registration.
For your own sake, you may want to gather your records showing insurance policies and accounts on which your spouse is named as a beneficiary. Presumably, you will want to change the beneficiary after you and your spouse divorce, so get these documents in order now to bring with you for your meeting with a divorce attorney.