A divorce is much like nearly every other legal matter in that it can produce an awful lot of paperwork. Once your divorce decree is issued and all agreements are finalized, you may be tempted to throw everything out to get rid of the clutter. That is not a good idea though, and there are actually some documents that you will definitely want to keep. Here are some suggestions from your local Shelby County, Tennessee divorce lawyer.
Do I Need to Keep My Divorce Decree?
Yes, it is a good idea to keep your divorce decree. This is essentially the settlement agreement from your divorce. It outlines all of the terms of the agreement between you and your spouse. It should have info about child custody agreements, property distribution, and spousal or child support arrangements.
If you need to make a change to your divorce terms later, due to changes in your financial situation for example, you will want to have this document somewhere it can be easily found.
Which Other Divorce Documents Should I Keep?
We also recommend that our clients keep a copy of their marriage license and certificate. This can qualify you for social security benefits later on in life if your marriage was long enough. You should also keep records relating to:
Child or spousal support: Whether you are receiving or making payments, keep copies of checks sent for child support or alimony. This can make it easy to track the payments and keep an accurate record in case there are discrepancies or arguments later on.
Appraised properties: You may have had property, like land or real estate, appraised during your divorce proceedings. Keep copies of these appraisals. Values of certain items can change dramatically, so having evidence of what something was worth at the time of your divorce can help you protect yourself and your assets.
Should I Keep My Own Financial Documents With My Divorce Records?
We also recommend that our clients keep their own financial documents with their divorce documents. This can make things easier if you need to show the court that there has been a change in your financial situation. Documents that you can keep with your divorce paperwork can include:
- Statements from savings or checking accounts
- Statements from retirement accounts, like a 401K or IRA
- Documents concerning other investments
- State and federal tax returns from recent years
If your financial situation changes and you need to adjust spousal or child support agreements, having your own financial documents from the last few years can make it easier to make your arguments.
Schedule Your Consultation With Our Divorce Lawyers
Going through a divorce can be tough, but it is easier when you have experienced professionals by your side. Contact Rice Law today and learn more about what our attorneys can do to help you in this difficult time. If you have any questions about this process, we are ready to answer them.