If you hire an attorney to handle your divorce case, then most likely on one of your first visits, he or she will go over a number of personal financial details prior to spelling out a game plan for reaching a swift settlement. Your attorney might even send you home with a list of financial documents to source to better substantiate your claim for spousal support or alimony.
In case you happen to have been fortunate enough to have been responsible for your household’s finances during the course of your marriage, then compiling the necessary paperwork to substantiate a spousal support claim will be remarkably easier than if you weren’t. In either case, doing so will inevitably be a time-consuming feat.
Despite the work involved in compiling such records, it’s important that you are as deliberately accurate as possible in the painstaking process of gathering them. This is largely because they will be picked apart in court. It’s also because of this that it’s critical that you make note of anomalies in your financial records that deviate from the norm.
Documents you’ll want to make an effort to compile in preparing to file a spousal support request with the court include credit card and bank account statements, credit reports, and tax returns. If you traveled either with your spouse or alone with some degree of frequency, it might also be helpful if you include copies of the stamps in your passport and frequent flier miles statements that shed light on your propensity to travel.
It also may be helpful for you to include a copy of your credit report for both you and your spouse so that a judge can make sense of different debts for which you are responsible. Also, providing copies of your health insurance Explanation of Benefits and medical bills can provide insight as to your average medical costs, co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses.
In compiling these records for both you and your spouse, while you still have access to them, it will allow for your attorney to make a much more airtight case for claiming spousal support or alimony.
Source: divorcemag.com, “Making your case for spousal support,” Michelle Smith, accessed April 27, 2017