Necessary Documents in a Florida Divorce
Regardless of whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, amicable or less so, every divorce comes with a lot of paperwork. Documentation is needed for every aspect of a divorce: separation of assets, alimony, child support, and more. If you or someone that you know is getting a divorce, consider collecting these documents before the proceedings begin.
Formal Divorce Paperwork
The primary documents in every divorce are the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. Under Florida law, these two documents are required in order for a divorce to be finalized. However, there are additional documents that must be filed with the court if any significant marital assets, children, or other dependents are involved. These documents include the Marital Settlement Agreement, Family Law Financial affidavits, and a Final Disposition Form.
Informal Paperwork Checklist
However, in order to file the necessary paperwork with the court, you need to collect the documents that relate your marriage and assets to the court. Your paperwork checklist should include the following:
Personal Records: These documents should contain the relevant information for you, your spouse, and any children. These records include:
· Birth certificates;
· Social Security cards;
· Your marriage license;
· Any legal agreements regarding the marriage include a prenuptial agreement, antenuptial agreement, or separation agreement;
· Death certificates if either spouse has been previously widowed;
· Divorce records if either spouse has been previously divorced; and
· Employment contracts.
Financial Records: These documents refer to your personal finances, retirement, and insurance in addition to those of your spouse. For a list of business-related records, see below. These records include:
· All tax returns for the last three to five years;
· Pay stubs and W-2 forms for you and your spouse from the last three to five years;
· Bank statements for any accounts, checking or savings, in addition to any Certificates of Deposit;
· Brokerage account records;
· Retirement account statements;
· Life, health, home, and auto insurance policies;
· Loan documents including credit card statements, mortgages, and vehicle loans;
· Leases for any rented property; and
· Household budget or documentation of monthly expenses in the home.
List of Personal Assets: This paperwork refers to marital and non-marital property of you and your spouse. It includes:
· Copies of title or loan statements for any vehicles or boats owned jointly or separately;
· Documents regarding any land you and your spouse own jointly or separately;
· A list of valuables that you and your spouse own jointly or separately; and
· A list of items stored in a safety deposit box.
Business Records: These documents are for the records of any business that you or your spouse might own. These include:
· Federal, state, and local business tax returns for the last three to five years;
· Profit and loss statements;
· Balance sheets;
· Financial statements;
· Corporate records and minute books;
· Partnership and shareholder agreements;
· Business credit card statements and records;
· Business insurance policies;
· Customer and supplier contracts; and
· Deeds, mortgages, leases and other real estate interests held by the business.
Any Relevant Information: Florida is considered a no-fault divorce state, but circumstances in the marriage could affect alimony or child custody agreements. Documents that could implicate fault include:
· Relevant photographs or video evidence;
· Relevant letters, notes, e-mails, or text messages; and
· Any criminal record or police reports.
Call a Florida Divorce Attorney Today
If you or someone that you know is considering divorce, you should begin to collect these documents as soon as possible. For help with the divorce process and to represent your well-being in court in Orlando or the central Florida area, reach out to family law attorney Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Call 407-521-7171 or contact the office today for a confidential consultation of your case.