When parties get divorced, they generally have to report to the court all the marital property and debt that they have. The exact format in terms of how this takes place varies by jurisdiction and locality. Thus, it’s vital to speak with an attorney about the particulars.
However, many parties after listing all their marital property and debt will assume that this is enough. In most instances, a party is going to want to get supporting documents to their attorney as well.
These supporting documents can involve all kinds of particular items from:
- Deed to the home
- Mortgage statements
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements
- Retirement account statements
- Vehicle titles and current debt statements
- Investment account statements
- Life insurance statements
- Student loan statements
- Documents relating to any other assets and debts that might be out there.
Many would ask why this is necessary? Why can’t an attorney just render advice based on what is put on the forms by the client?
At the end of the day, the attorney has a duty to give competent, communicative, and diligent advice. As part of doing this, an attorney must confirm what is being told to them by the client. It might be that the client has missed or omitted critical details that the attorney might need to give important advice.
Further, to settle a case, the other party and attorney might require this information to understand a settlement proposal given to them. This information would also be needed in most instances to accurately draft settlement documents.
If a case goes to trial, it is also important for a judge to have access to this information to make an appropriate division of property and debt. Otherwise, it might be tough for a judge to justly divide the marital property and debt appropriately.
In many instances, an attorney is also going to look at these documents into the rules of evidence to ensure that they would be able to get these supporting documents admitted at trial. It might require an affidavit of some kind, a stipulation from the other side, or perhaps a subpoena that will need to be issued.
If you are going through a divorce and there are significant property and debt issues, you can contact Stange Law Firm, PC at 1-855-805-0595. We also have Lee’s Summit Family Lawyers who can help.