Is your spouse withdrawing money by way of cash advances at the grocery store while concealing the cash advance in the grocery bill? Is your spouse withdrawing a portion of his or her pay check before depositing the pay check in the joint account? Are the bank statements disappearing from the house before you review them? Do you bother reviewing the bank statements at all?
Before items begin disappearing, photograph or video the interior and exterior of the family residence including contents of drawers and closets. Get copies of all important financial documents including but not limited to:
- Promissory notes
- Loan applications
- Loan documents
- Tax returns
- Bank records
- Employment records
- Pension documents
- Trust documents
- Vehicle registrations
- Valuations of property
- Insurance information
- Children's medical, dental and school records
- Prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements
Get copies of current monthly expenses. If there is a family business, get a copy of the business computer hard drive if possible. Know the passwords.
Often, when a spouse pulls the trigger and files for divorce, it is too late to get copies of these types of documents because they have disappeared. Then, it becomes much more expensive to subpoena documents assuming the location of documents is known. If not, it is often necessary to commence expensive discovery in the litigation to learn about and then obtain relevant important documents.
When it comes to one's children, it is important to speak to the children's teachers, counselors, doctors, dentists and be informed about, if not participate in, one's children's extra-curricular activities. A parent should know about one's children's shoe size, clothing size, and the names of the children's teachers, doctors and other professionals involved in the children's lives.
Once a divorce case begins, the more information and documents you could provide to your attorney as soon as possible, the less time the attorney needs to spend on figuring out the lay of the land. This translates into big savings to you during the course of divorce litigation. The expert attorneys at Richard Ross Association, a Family Law Professional Corporation, will help you help yourself in all aspects of divorce preparation, planning, case management and case strategy, to obtain the best possible settlement or litigation outcome.