“What Documents Should I Gather For My Divorce?”

The most important documents that you can gather for a dissolution of marriage generally fall into two categories: financial documents and evidence for trial.

The first category includes principally statements from financial institutions and accounts. It is important that you have a statement from the month that you and your ex actually separated, as that is the date of valuation of most assets or debts. These include:

*Credit card statements
*Bank statements
*401K or stock statements
*Retirement account documents
*Titles to houses or vehicles
*Taxes for 3 years prior to the separation
*Current pay stubs showing current income and year to date income

The second category related to evidence that you may wish to present at trial. These usually relate to child custody, but sometimes relate to financial issues like ability to work and financial lifestyle. These are things such as e-mails text messages, and social media posts. It is recommended to print these out so that if you have failure of an electronic device you still have copies. Or, as is common with social media, the posts or pictures disappear as the opposing party “cleans up” their public image.

One type of document that is not normally need is the marriage certificate or birth certificates of minors. These are only needed if there is some sort of dispute over the date of marriage, the fact of the marriage, or paternity of minors.

DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.