Los Angeles, CA family law attorney Joanne Ratinoff talks about what one should do to prepare for a divorce.
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I would say the best way for people to prepare for divorce as a practical matter, I don’t think anything can really prepare a person for divorce emotionally that is a very, very different avenue and question and I’m not prepared to give people advice about that. But in terms of practicality, I think it really helps if a person has knowledge of where their tax returns are, where their bank statements are, can they access them online? Credit card statements. Deeds, not so much they are usually a matter of public record, Promissory notes, lease contracts for automobiles. Do you have your paperwork together so that you can assist me as your lawyer in figuring out what are your assets, what are your debts? Do we need to look into this further?
You know, do you have a comparison of your tax returns so that for example, in the year 2015 there was interest income reflected on schedule B from these accounts and then in 2016 oh, not al those accounts show up. And then in 2017, oh, there’s even less accounts. Well, what happened to those accounts? Why are they not there? There might be a perfectly legitimate reason but maybe not. Or there is far less income showing for interest income, for example, than in previous years. Well, why is that, let’s explore that.
So I think that having your paperwork available so that you don’t have to run up fees in discovery asking the other side to produce these documents. If you have them yourself that can be an advantage and can lower the costs and the fees to be incurred in the divorce.