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Fort Lauderdale Divorce Checklist

If you are considering divorcing your spouse, make sure whether that is what you really want. Consider if marital counseling could help you. If you decide to go through with it, this Fort Lauderdale divorce information may help prepare you for the issues that will come up.

Fort Lauderdale Divorce Information

  • Hire a lawyer you can trust. This person will be your voice in the courtroom, so make sure you are on the same page with him or her. He or she will be well-versed in Fort Lauderdale divorce information and procedures.
  • With your lawyer, go over a timeline of what will happen in the divorce proceedings. Keep a calendar of court dates and documents that will be required of you.
  • Open your own checking and savings accounts, and separate your paychecks from your spouse's as soon as possible.
  • Update your will to reflect your newly single status, and be sure to specify whom you would like to raise any children in your custody.
  • Make any important decisions about your children as soon as possible.
  • If you have been on your spouse's health insurance, you will need to secure your own health insurance.
  • Notify everyone. Your employer, health insurance and life insurance will all need to know about your single status.

Getting Your Documents in Order

Get all your documents in one place to give to your attorney. You will need to provide detailed financial records. A detailed inventory of major possessions as well as a thorough budget will go a long way when the judge divides your assets. Below are some of the documents you may need. Keep in mind that it will both easier and less expensive to get these documents before the divorce proceedings begin. If you cannot find or obtain certain documents, write down as much information as possible that you have about the documents.

Personal Documents

These documents contain information about you, your spouse and any children you may have that will help a judge figure out the court's authority to grant you a divorce.

  • Birth certificates
  • Immigration documents, if applicable
  • Social Security cards
  • Any court documents from previous marriages, including divorce orders or death certificates
  • Prenuptial agreements

Financial Documents

  • Tax returns from the local, state and federal levels
  • Real estate deeds
  • Pension or 401(k) documents
  • Mortgage and other loan documents or any other records showing debt, such as credit card bills
  • Insurance policies
  • Checking and savings account information, cancelled checks
  • Any household budgets or utility bills
  • If you or your spouse own a business, any business financial documents should be collected.