Understandably, following your divorce, you may want to get rid of everything that reminds you of your failed marriage. That may include the presents they gave you, your marriage certificate, and other types of paperwork. When looking at objects and documents that remind you of your former spouse, you may be overwhelmed by your negative emotions surrounding the marriage dissolution. Therefore, you may make rash decisions to get rid of significant legal paperwork. When emotions are running high, it is never a wise idea to get rid of documents that may be needed in the future. If you are seeking a divorce, you need a talented Rockland County Divorce & Separation Attorney on your side who can help you understand what legal documents should be kept after your divorce has been finalized.

What legal documents should I keep after my divorce is final?

Certain documents must be kept following a divorce as getting rid of them can make it challenging for the court to enforce the terms of your divorce settlement agreement and any court-ordered payments such as alimony and child support. To avoid this issue down the road, you should save all pertinent documents such as your marriage license, settlement agreement, and financial statements.

It is imperative to keep your original marriage license and certificate as it proves you were married to your former spouse. It can prove how long you were married. Alongside your marriage license, you should keep your divorce decree as this will establish when the marriage was officially terminated. In most cases, individuals married for more than 10 years may be eligible for Social Security benefits.

It is also beneficial to keep all pertinent financial records as this can also help the court in cases where you may want to modify the original payment terms of an alimony or child support order. If you request a modification, you will need to provide the court with financial statements for several years.

Furthermore, if your settlement agreement stipulates that you will receive a certain amount of money for alimony or child support, you should keep copies of the monthly maintenance checks. If your former spouse fails to pay, you can prove this to the court by sharing a paper trial. Alongside keeping receipts for alimony and child support payments, you should keep your settlement agreement from your divorce.  In the future, if you wish to request post-divorce modifications you will need to present them to the court as it includes details involving child support, child custody, alimony, and property distribution. You should keep your settlement agreement in a safe place. This will ensure you can locate it if you ever need to request a change to any aspect of your original agreement.

If you are undergoing a divorce, you should avoid discarding legal documents as you may need them in the future. Our firm can walk you through this complex process. Contact a determined attorney from the Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC today to protect your future.