Your divorce papers should include provisions for child support, custody, property, settlements, etc. While divorce can be a very trying time in your life, you need to focus on protecting your future by making sure that your divorce papers are drawn up carefully. Because of the legal technicalities involved in most divorce proceedings, it is wise to retain a qualified divorce lawyer.
If there are no children involved, and very little debts and assets, you have the option of filling out your own divorce papers and filing them yourself. You can get more information on this option at our section on Do It Yourself Divorce Papers. If you take this route, take your time filling the divorce papers out, as they are still a legal document, and you will be held to what is included in them.
Whether a lawyer prepares your divorce papers or you do, you should have the following documents on hand.
If there is a history of violence, or the threat, your lawyer will probably file a temporary restraint against domestic violence. Divorce papers should also be filed for temporary custody, child support, and interim relief. If your state requires it, you should sign up for the required parenting class.
- insurance papers
- birth certificates
- marriage license
- property deeds and titles
- vehicle titles
- last years tax records
- bank account information
- mortgage accounts
- loan accounts
- pension or retirement accounts
Your Divorce Papers Should Contain Provisions For:
Once divorce papers are drawn up, take them home and read over them very carefully. Your divorce papers are legal documents and the stipulations in them will affect you for a long time. If you feel uncomfortable with anything, or donít understand something contained in your divorce papers, discuss it with your lawyer before you sign anything. Donít sell yourself short just to get out of a bad marriage.
- Custody (sole or joint) of the children
- Visitation schedules and any exceptions
- Child support calculations, and how payments are handled
- Any restrictions on moving out of the area
- Who will carry insurance on the children
- Which parent claims the children as tax dependents
- Division of property, and how titles and deeds will be transferred
- Division of checking, savings, and investment accounts
- Division of debt
- Indemnification of future debts
- Settlements (lump sum is preferable)
Once your divorce papers are signed, your lawyer should take care of presenting it to the judge for signing and filing your divorce papers at the courthouse. If you received property, have your lawyer draw up a quit claim deed and file it at the courthouse. If you received any vehicles, have your ex sign over the title in the lawyers office, and file for a change of title at the motor vehicle department. Realize that this whole process may take some time. Be patient and know it will soon be over.
©Tracy Achen 2001
At WomansDivorce.com we have one focus - helping women survive divorce and rebuild their lives. (This article may be freely reproduced provided it is unaltered and the above information is included.)