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Start collecting your documents if you plan to divorce

The beginning of the year is here and you’re ready. Ready for a new life and to move forward with the divorce you have been contemplating for what feels like years. You’ve come to terms with all the pros and cons of the divorce; now all you need to do is the footwork.

One of the first steps that many Georgia individuals contemplating divorce take is to discuss the process with a divorce attorney. Although the process is very emotional for the people involved, it’s important to remember that in the eyes of the court system, it is a legal process. That’s where a lawyer comes in. Your attorney is your guiding light through a process that can be extremely emotional and upsetting.

One of the first things your lawyer may ask you to do is to collect documentation. These documents mostly have to do with your family finances. He or she will likely ask you to collect bank statements, pay stubs and tax returns and bring them into the office -- pretty much anything that can document income coming into the home. You will also need documents that outline all debts that are tied to the family, as well as individual debts.

If you and your spouse own a house or any other properties, you will need to dig out the documentation related to the purchase of these properties and any statements tied to the mortgage. The same goes for any vehicles, including cars and boats. Oftentimes, these may have loans attached to them as well.

Finally, don’t forget about the less-prominent assets. Think about any life insurance plans you may have, as well as any pension funds. There should be documentation linked to these accounts that should be relatively easy to find.

It’s quite natural to feel overwhelmed by this process, so taking your time to make sure you do it thoroughly can definitely ease your stresses.

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