Checklist for your Georgia Divorce

Contemplating divorce is an overwhelming prospect, beginning with the emotional toll it takes. On top of this, you’re suddenly dealing with so many different aspects of separating a shared life, shared property, and shared finances. You may also have a child or children that will be part of the matrix you’ll need to navigate during the process of uncoupling. While individualized personal counsel is necessary, your local Georgia attorneys at Family Matters Law Group understand that having an overview of the steps you need to take is a good starting point.

Financial Checklist

One of the most important aspects you need to investigate and document is your spouse’s finances when preparing for divorce. You also will need to assess your finances and be prepared with documentation.

  • You’ll both need to provide federal, state, and local income tax returns for the last three years, at the very least.
    Proof of both spouses’ income (W-2 and 1099 forms)
  • Bank statements of any financial accounts, including, but not limited to: checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, mutual funds, and money market accounts.
  • All real estate records, including details about the marital home and land: paying particular attention to paperwork regarding the deed, a promissory note, your mortgage, and the balance due, with proof from your lender. It’s also essential to provide any joint property appraisals and the most recent tax bill for your home.
  • You’ll need to provide documentation of any investments, stocks, bonds, trusts, annuities, or retirement plans, including pensions and profit-sharing plans. Also include information on any life insurance policies held by either party.
  • List all personal property, and note what belongs to each party, such as automobiles, furnishings, and collections, such as art, stamps, and coins.

As part of financial documentation, it’s also necessary to list all debts belonging to either spouse. Here are some of the items to take note of:

  • Any mortgages or home equity loans.
  • Credit cards, with current statements.
  • The existence of any vehicle loans, and balances remaining, if any. Make sure you both have copies available of the most recently paid invoices for any car loans.
  • Student loans and amounts outstanding.
  • Any other loans.

Parenting Plans and Custody Arrangements

While hashing out family matters involving children takes expert counsel and time negotiating with your former spouse, you can start the process by assessing who has the better position if you are filing for sole custody. You need to be prepared to document why yours is the better environment for your child or children. If you’re planning on joint custody, the first steps will include deciding how time will be split up between households. The focus should be on how to minimize disruption of your kid’s routines. Divorce is already hard enough on children without additional stress from poor planning.

In addition, it’s vital to shield them from any disagreements between you and your ex. As much as is possible, discuss preliminary agreements away from your children. Due to the heightened emotions around custody agreements, it may be best to save such discussions for the confines of a therapist’s office, during consultations, with both of your lawyers present, and during the court hearing itself.

If you live in Georgia and reside in Henry, Clayton, or Fayette counties, Family Matters Law Group is here for you. Please feel free to reach out to us to schedule a consultation to address your specific concerns. You may call us at (678) 545-2118 or Contact us through our website if you prefer.