One of the most important aspects of any Maryland divorce is the manner in which marital assets will be divided between spouses. This can be a complicated part of the overall divorce process, as it requires a great deal of documentation concerning all income, assets and debt held within the family. This can be one of the most time-consuming steps within the overall divorce process, and savvy spouses will begin preparing for property division even before the papers are filed.
Spouses should begin by collecting documentation of income. This includes pay stubs where applicable, as well as any proof of bonuses or other additional income. For those individuals who have a contract that outlines their responsibilities and compensation structure, copies should be made and retained. Other forms of income could be profit-sharing, stock options and other less common types of compensation.
Next, spouses should gather documents connected to assets. This begins with titles and deeds. Statements that outline the value of investment accounts are also important, as are any insurance policies on various items of value. In the case of tangible assets such as jewelry, art or antiques, photos should be made to document each item.
By taking these steps, spouses can enter into the divorce process having already completed a great number of the tasks that normally occupy the first few weeks of a divorce. This can not only save time, but can also reduce the overall cost of a divorce, because the attorneys involved will have less need to spend time requesting these documents and waiting for them to be turned in for review. For those in Maryland who want to reduce the stress, time and cost of their divorce, this level of preparation is a great place to begin.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "How to Plan for a Divorce", Veronica Dagher, Sept. 6, 2014