Separation or Divorce is complicated. It can affect you in legally, financially and emotionally. Dividing property that a couple has acquired throughout their marriage can be one of the most contentious parts of a divorce or separation. Your divorce lawyer can help ease some of your financial and legal stresses by advocating for your interests.
Lawyers would often need a number of documents from you so they could provide you proper legal advice. It would save you time and legal fees if you are able to gather some documents mentioned below before meeting with your divorce lawyer. Being organized will not only save you money, it will also give your family lawyer a useful overview of the assets or debts likely at issue. The more information you give your lawyer, the better they can protect your needs and interests.
The following is a list of documents you should gather before meeting with divorce lawyer; however, given your circumstances your divorce lawyer may require additional documents:
Checklist of Documents to Gather for Your Divorce Lawyer
- Income Tax Returns for the past three years. Sometimes these are also referred to as T1 General(s)
- Notices of Assessment for the past three years
- Business Income Tax Returns for the past three years. Sometimes these are also referred to as T2 General(s)
- Proof of your current income (latest pay stub)
- Proof of your spouse’s current income, if available
- Latest bank statements for all your (and your spouse’s, if available) accounts
- Latest statements for your (and your spouse’s, if available) mortgage account, credit cards and any other loans
- Your (and your spouse’s, if available) pension statement(s)
- RRSP, TFSA, or other Stock account statements
- Property Assessment statements from the City
- Monthly budget worksheet, if any
- Life insurance policy(ies) statement(s)
- Health insurance policy statement(s)
- Personal property appraisals, if available
- Real property appraisals, if available
- Prenuptial or cohabitation/marriage agreement that might have been signed during or before the relation
- Documents regarding Family Trusts
- List and proof of property owned by either party before cohabitation
- List of property acquired by each spouse individually by gift or inheritance during the relationship
- List of contents inside safety deposit boxes
- Living Wills
- Advance Health Care Directives
Every situation is different. Couples enter and leave relationships due to different circumstances and with different assets/debts. To ensure no assets or debts are overlooked, you should always have an open and frank discussion with your family lawyer regarding all of the assets and debts you and your spouse own.
Starting the Separation or Divorce Process
You may feel overwhelmed by all of the steps required if you are just beginning the divorce process. If you have children, the process can also be much more emotionally challenging. If you feel overwhelmed by your situation, rest assured, you are not alone and what you are experiencing is normal. Your family lawyer can guide you step by step on how to proceed in order to protect yourself, your child(ren) and maintain the sensitive family relationships.
If you or your loved one is going through separation or divorce, contact Rahul Aggarwal at Clean Divorce in Vancouver for a FREE 20-minute initial consultation.