What documents should I keep after my divorce?

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After your divorce is finalized, you may feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders as you no longer have to deal with this legal nightmare. Understandably, you may be tempted to discard all the paperwork related to your divorce as you do not want to be reminded of your failed marriage. However, it is critical to keep certain legal documents as they may be needed in the future. Keep reading to learn what legal paperwork you should keep after your divorce is finalized and discover how an experienced Suffolk County Divorce & Separation Attorney can help you today.

What documents do I need to keep after my divorce is finalized?

After you divorce, you should keep your original marriage license and certificate as spouses in marriages lasting more than 10 years may be eligible to collect on their former spouse’s Social Security benefits. Your marriage certificate will verify the length of your marriage.

One of the most important documents you should keep is your divorce decree, also known as the final judgment. Your divorce decree is a key piece of paperwork you should hang onto after your divorce is final. It stipulates how all of the foregoing issues of child support, child custody, spousal support, and division of marital property will be handled. A divorce decree is a document that proves that your marriage is legally over. Your divorce decree and settlement agreement may be needed in the future if you ever want to request modifications to your existing agreement. Typically, modifications are requested when an individual has had a significant change in circumstances.

Moreover, keeping your settlement agreement is critical as it dictates whether your former spouse is required to pay you a certain amount of money every month for spousal support or child support. If your former spouse fails to make payments, you should keep a paper trail by keeping copies of the checks. This way you can show the months missed and the amount of money owed to ensure you receive adequate financial support.

Can I discard my financial statements?

Following a divorce, you should keep all financial statements. As mentioned above, if you have a significant change in circumstances that warrant modifications to the existing settlement agreement, the court will likely request several years of financial statements. Therefore, you should keep a variety of financial records such as bank statements, credit card statements, and tax returns. This way you can avoid calling your bank and other companies to retrieve this information as it can take a substantial amount of time. After your divorce is finalized, keep all of your financial statements as you will likely be asked to supply these statements in the event your former spouse requests a modification to the original order.

For more information on what type of legal documents you should keep after your divorce is finalized, please contact a determined attorney from the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. With years of experience, you can trust that we can help you navigate the intricacies associated with this legal process.


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I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

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I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

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After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

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I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

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The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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