Though you may think destroying any and all documents related to your divorce may be the key to healing the emotions you feel. However, you may want to think twice about putting these papers through the shredder or using them to fuel a fire. Going through a divorce can be complex, so it’s essential to understand what documents you should hold on to following a separation. The following blog explores what paperwork you must hold on to and how a Morris County divorce & separation law firm can help you navigate this legal process.
What Are the Most Important Divorce Documents to Keep?
By far, the most important thing you must keep following a divorce is your separation agreement. This will contain all necessary information regarding the terms and conditions of the dissolution of your marriage, such as alimony payments, child custody arrangements, and child support obligations. If your spouse does not follow the terms of the agreement, this document can get the courts to enforce these terms.
You should also hold on to the marriage license as if you were married for more than ten years, this can help you obtain the social security benefits on behalf of your spouse that you are likely entitled to. To receive these benefits, you’ll need to produce the license to the social security office.
Finally, you should keep all financial records associated with your divorce. This includes receipts for alimony and child support payments, appraisals for marital property distributed during the process, and all financial information exchanged during the discovery process. If one party proposes a modification, having financial records can help provide the evidence to support the request.
How Long Should I Store These Papers?
In general, it’s in your best interest to retain any and all documents related to your divorce forever.
You can store them in a fireproof lockbox in your home or with a safe in a secure location like a bank. Unfortunately, you never know when you may need to produce documentation related to your divorce and, as such, you should keep these documents.
In some instances, you may be able to create digital copies of some documents that may not seem as important. However, you should keep the original copies of your marriage license and divorce decrees. These often have an official seal that proves the authenticity of the document. As such, some agencies will require the original copy.
Going through a divorce is a complex issue that can weigh you down with paperwork. When you need help navigating the forms and documents, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn can help. Our legal team will do everything possible to help you transition into the next chapter of your life as smoothly as possible.