Divorce Documents Needed to File a Case

divorce documents

If you are contemplating ending your marriage, there are divorce documents you need to collect prior to filing your case in court. In order to make sure you round up all necessary documents, you should engage the services of divorce attorney in a proactive manner.

Personal Divorce Documents Checklist

There are various essential personal documents that you need to pull together in advance of filing for divorce. These are:

  • birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Immigration and naturalization papers

Financial Divorce Documents Checklist

A variety of different types of financial documents also need to be collected in advance of beginning a divorce case. These include:

  • Federal, state and local income tax returns for past three years
  • Payroll statements or paystubs for past six months
  • Insurance policies
  • Retirement plan documents
  • Real estate documents, including deeds or leases
  • Checking and savings account documents
  • Mortgage and car loan documents
  • Recurring bill states (like cable television or phone bills)

Business Divorce Documents Checklist

If you and your spouse are involved in a business, or have business investments, additional types of documents need to be gathered in advance of filing for divorce. These include:

    Business tax returns of all types
  • Profit and loss statements
  • Balance sheets
  • Organizational documents
  • Insurance policies
  • Contracts
  • Deeds and lease agreements
  • Mortgage and other loan documents

Divorce Documents in Your Spouse's Possession

You need to take care in the manner in which you collect divorce documents. Any documents in your possession or located in your residence in a commonly utilized digital or brick and mortar world filing system can be collected. However, you need to be cautioned about accessing document storage devices that have been secured intentionally by your spouse. For example, do not try to hack into your spouse’s computer to glean information that you feel will be helpful to you in your divorce.

Pennsylvania law and court procedures include resources and procedures to be utilized in collecting documents and information from your spouse. Engaging in self-help tactics that skirt (or perhaps even violate) the law can result in you facing significant sanctions or other difficulties in a divorce case.