Divorces can produce a lot of paperwork, and we understand the urge to get rid of all of it once an agreement has been finalized. Our Bergen County divorce lawyers do not recommend that though. Instead, you need to learn which kinds of divorce records need to be kept because they can come in handy later. Keep a little bit of that paperwork and you can ensure that you are better protected and able to ask for changes to your divorce agreement if need be.
Which Divorce Records Should Be Kept?
Once your divorce is complete, we recommend the following documents:
Your divorce settlement agreement: This outlines your entire divorce agreement, from property division to child support. If you ever want to request a change to your agreement, you will need to have the original on hand.
Appraisals of property: During your divorce, you may have gotten certain properties appraised as the court attempted to find an equitable way to divide everything between you and your spouse. The value of appraised properties like businesses, collectibles, or real estate can change over time, so keeping copies of the appraisals that showed their value at the time of your divorce is a smart move.
The marriage license and certificate: You should still keep this record of your marriage somewhere safe. If you were married for long enough, this can also help you secure certain kinds of social security benefits later on in life.
Child support and alimony checks: If you are sending the checks, keep a copy of them or your bank statements somewhere with your divorce records. If you are receiving the checks, keep copies and make sure that everything is organized. This can make it easy to see if a spouse missed a payment.
Should I Keep More of My Own Financial Documents After a Divorce?
It is also important to keep more of your own financial documents in a safe place after you get a divorce. Your financial situation might change, and that could warrant changes to a child or spousal support agreement. The easiest way to prove that these terms should be renegotiated is by ensuring that you have financial documents from the past few years stowed away along with your divorce records.
We recommend having copies of:
- Bank statements for checking and savings accounts
- Annual tax returns
- Statements from retirement accounts, like IRA or 401k accounts
Some banks and other financial institutions will charge you fees to go back and get old statements. The process of finding them and sending them out can also take a long time. So just keep your own records safe in case you ever need them.
Contact Our Firm Today
If you are considering divorce, know that going through this process on your own can be difficult. The seasoned divorce attorneys from our law firm can do a lot to help you out, so contact the Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark and learn more about how we can assist you.