By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
If you are thinking about getting divorced, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself. The very first thing is to educate yourself about the family finances. Then start a photocopying and photographing campaign.
When you eliminate the emotional baggage, divorce is about money….dividing assets and debts of a marriage, as well as determining income for purposes of alimony, child support, and attorneys fees.
In terms of being able to prove the incomes of the spouses, it is important to have things like tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements showing any direct deposits of income. Incomes of the parties are key to any divorce. Employment history is important too. A spouse should not be able to voluntarily under employ himself or herself and get away with it. Remember, income can be passive as well, resulting from investments, sale of real estate and the like. Think about what you need to PROVE these things.
Valuing of assets are a necessary must in terms of who gets what. For example, appraisals of jewelry, art, antiques, cars, even the family business will help the parties or the court divide the assets fairly. Determining debt is the other side of the coin. Things like mortgages, lines of credit, credit card bills, car loans need to be addressed, so it is important to have these papers organized and ready to present.
Photographs speak volumes when it comes to valuable cars, boats, and household items of substantial worth. When you have finished gathering all these documents, deliver the boxes of evidence to your divorce attorney for safekeeping. For more information about this or other divorce topics, see http://www.familylawwpb.com, or call for a consultation appointment 561 835 9091.