Monday, January 11, 2010

Contemplating a Divorce? Be Prepared!

When I started this blog,I did not think of its potential for preventive law. Most lawyers dream of being able to help prevent legal messes rather than just cleaning them up. You will find that I am going to keep noting articles that help educate you on how to be prepared for a case.

Minnesota Divorce & Family Law Blog has a very good list in its Staying Ahead of the Curve: 12 Proactive Steps To Take If You Are Contemplating Divorce

To help avoid the mess, we've assembled a list of 12 things you should gather to ensure that you have all of critical information in hand before your spouse has a chance to conceal, transfer or sell items. These include obtaining:

1. Copies of financial statements;
2. Copies of tax returns;
3. Copies of computer hard drives;
4. Copies of insurance policies;
5. Copies of wills and/or trusts;
6. Inventory of safety deposit boxes, with a witness;
7. Copies of deeds and/or titles to real property;
8. Copies of small business ledgers, financial journals, payroll, sales tax returns and expense account records;
9. Copies of appraisals for art, antiques, jewelry and collectibles;
10. Record the contents of each room in your home through video;
11. Copies of retirement account statements; and
12. Copies of your spouse's pay stubs for the last few months.

Investing some time in gathering these items will ensure that your spouse cannot take advantage of you during the divorce process. The denial of the existence of an asset is a fraud upon the Court. Once your spouse knows that we have all of the key information in hand, they are far less likely to engage in bad faith conduct and be honest in their disclosures throughout the process.
Read that last paragraph carefully as it explains why being prepared is a good thing.

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