A divorce can be complicated since it is not unlike a business dissolution. Assets need to be accounted for and valued, and classified as premarital or marital. Debts are assessed, and other matters must be addressed before property and funds are distributed. If child support or alimony is agreed upon or ordered, the amount needs to be established and for how long it is to be paid.
You will need a great number of documents to show evidence of marital and non-marital assets along with you and your spouse’s income and net worth. If divorce is imminent or has been discussed, promptly begin accumulating documents that your attorney will need, so that he or she has a firm grasp of your family’s financial status.
The following is a checklist of most of the documents you typically will need:
Property and Assets
If you own a business or have interests in one, accumulate as many documents regarding your business including:
The CPA or accounting firm that handles your business matters should have most, if not all, of these documents, or they may be found wherever corporate or business contracts and records are kept in the principal office. Rules 12.285, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure provides a itemized list of all documents/items required during a divorce or paternity proceeding. However, the opposing party may request additional financial records as long as such are relevant to the proceeding.
Should there be a custody dispute, you should be prepared to defend yourself against allegations of misconduct or alleged evidence of poor parenting or even abuse. If your spouse is guilty of such wrongdoing, you will need police reports, identity of witnesses to support your allegations or defenses, photographs and medical records of injuries to yourself or children, copies of TROs and records of criminal convictions. For matters regarding disposition of your assets and debts or even to support your desire for a divorce, evidence of misconduct is irrelevant since Florida is a no-fault state. This means you need only allege that there are irreconcilable differences.
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