If you’ve decided to get a divorce, you may be wondering what’s involved, and how long the process will take. The answer depends in part on how complicated your divorce is–divorces involving children, multiple properties and retirement accounts where the couple had been married for decades, for example, will likely take longer than a divorce where the couple had been married only a short time and didn’t have many assets.
Regardless of how complicated or uncomplicated your divorce proves to be, however, getting organized can help facilitate the process. Having your paperwork in order before coming to the office can speed up the process and help ensure that your lawyer can work on your case more efficiently.
So what do you need to get your divorce started? Primarily, your attorney will be looking for your complete financial information. This means you should gather and bring to your appointment documentation such as:
- Tax statements
- Mortgage statements
- Credit card balances
- Investment statements
- Retirement account statements
This is not a comprehensive list. Where possible, you should account for and document any and all information about income, assets and debts for your first appointment. Being organized in this way not only helps your lawyer make the divorce proceed more quickly, but can also help you regain a sense of control over your life.
Whether you are organized or not, getting a divorce usually takes longer than people hope it will, and the process requires patience. Being prepared, however, can help ensure that your divorce doesn’t last any longer than it has to.