Uncertainties abound in any divorce. While no one can fully prepare for how circumstances play out, diligent documentation can prevent the process from being a paperwork nightmare.
Since divorce is a legal undertaking, accomplishing specific forms and gathering pertinent documents make it legally binding. Knowing what files to put together can help divorcing individuals save time, money and emotional stability.
A divorce document checklist
In New Jersey, the spouse filing for divorce is the “plaintiff,” while the other party is the “defendant.” Essential documents required when filing for divorce include:
- Complaint for Divorce: Initiates the process’s formal beginning; includes basic personal information (names and addresses) of both parties, details of their marriage and possible children, and the grounds for the divorce
- Confidential Information Litigant Sheet: Includes both spouses’ sensitive information, such as an active domestic violence order and professional, occupational or recreational licenses
- Certification of Insurance Coverage: Indicates a divorcing couple’s insurance policies – health care, home and automobile – and changes made before filing
- Consensual Dispute Resolution Certification: Ensures that both parties are aware of available options to keep costs down when settling disputes
These documents vary based on unique family situations – the intensity of conflicts, the complexity of properties and whether children are involved. Further, other documents may include those related to debts, taxes and retirement accounts.
A well-documented divorce is not a one-person task
Preparing accurate and adequate divorce documentation can be a daunting task. It demands filing it on time with the appropriate information. However, there is always a risk of providing incorrect details that may jeopardize other factors, such as child custody or support, alimony and property division. Thus, those who are still contemplating or are already in the middle of filing for divorce must work with their legal team for much-needed guidance and insight. Doing so pays off in the long run, as either spouse turns to these documents when dealing with future contentions.