A lot of divorce clients ask me, what documents do I need to get together? Here is a list of some of the most important documents you will need:
- Complete income tax returns, W2s, and other like documents for the last 3 years.
- Year-to-date income information (such as pay stubs) for yourself and your spouse.
- Statements for banking and other financial accounts for the past 12 months.
- Statements for credit cards and other debts for the past 12 months.
- If you have children, copies of the monthly out-of-pocket cost of health insurance and the number of people covered on the plan. If you have employer-provided health insurance, this may be on your pay stub.
- If you have children, copies of any work-related daycare expense.
- Deeds, appraisals, mortgages, or other like documents for all real estate.
- Your will and your spouse’s will.
- Life insurance policies for you and your spouse.
- Certificates of title or other ownership documents regarding any cars, boats, motorcycles, RVs, or any type of titled vehicle.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates you and the opposing party, typically your spouse or the other parent, in negotiating a settlement in your case. There are several potential benefits to mediation.
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation is confidential. No one will know what goes on at the mediation except for the mediator, the parties and their attorneys. If you are able to negotiate a settlement, you do not have to air your dirty laundry in court.
You and your spouse or the other parent can negotiate a plan that is tailor-made for your needs and situation. You probably will not get that result from litigation.
If both parties are serious about resolving their differences out of court and coming to a settlement, mediation is typically far more cost-effective than protracted litigation.
Mediation does not have the adversarial nature of litigation and can often reduce the conflict level between the parties. If you have to co-parent with this person in the future, less conflict in divorce helps contribute to a better long-term working relationship. In addition, there is a wealth of information out there that indicates that children of divorce fare far better when the conflict between the parents is kept to a minimum.