How to Prepare for a New Jersey Divorce

For Every Minute Spent Organizing, An Hour Is Earned

Not the least of the unpleasant surprises that await a party to a divorce in New Jersey is the realization that the divorce process will require the production of a great deal of documentation. From tax returns and insurance statements to the family business’ financial books and personal credit card statements, a divorcing party will be required to substantiate to the court, through such documentation, the financial condition of the marital estate and to quantify their own assets and liabilities.

Documents To Locate and Organize For Divorce

If you are like most people, this sort of documentation will not be at your fingertips. Therefore, if you intend to file for divorce, or if you are thinking about doing so, or if you think your spouse may file for divorce, you should prepare for that circumstance by first locating and then photocopying the following documents (and any other documents that bear on your financial situation and the financial situation of the marriage):

  • Bank statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Investment statements (e.g. as from a mutual fund portfolio)
  • Loan applications
  • Check book registers
  • Insurance contracts

The benefit of having photocopies of these sorts of documents is not limited to making either the filing of a divorce complaint or an answer to that complaint easier. It will likely not surprise the reader to learn, for example, that often financial documentation will disappear when its presence would be prejudicial to one party to the divorce. Sometimes the documentation will never be found; other times it will be produced only during the discovery process, and then perhaps only in response to an order from the court. Gaining possession of documentation that way will both cost you more in legal fees and delay the divorce process. Even where the underlying financial data represented on a given document change between the time you make a photocopy of that document and when the divorce complaint is filed, the very existence of the photocopy will make it impossible for the other party to deny the existence of, for example, the bank account or the insurance policy represented by the document.

You’re Here Because You’re Interested

It is certainly understandable that you may shy away from preparing for a divorce by gathering documentation when you still have hope that your marriage will be salvaged; perhaps you regard such a precaution as betting against your marriage, and at a time when your marriage likely can use all the support it can get. Only you are in a position to judge the state of your marriage. The fact that you are reading this suggests that you should strongly consider taking precautions to protect your interests in the event of divorce.

Best Preparation is To Retain an Experienced Matrimonial Lawyer

The very best way to protect your interests is by consulting with a competent and experienced New Jersey family law attorney; preferably one who practices in the county where you live. He or she will be able to give you advice specific to your particular case, both with regard to the gathering and copying of documentation, and with respect to all other aspects of the divorce process in New Jersey.

Vincent DeLuca Is Here To Help You in Your Divorce

Vincent C. DeLuca of Villani & DeLuca, P.C., is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Attorney. Mr. DeLuca is one of a limited number of attorneys to hold the prestigious certification of Matrimonial Attorney in New Jersey. Mr. DeLuca, whose practice is devoted to Family Law in Ocean County and Monmouth County, is one of only five certified Matrimonial Attorneys on the Roster of Mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law in Ocean County, New Jersey.