When going through a divorce, there is a considerable amount of paperwork involved, as this is a complex legal matter. However, you may think once your divorce is finalized, you can shred all the papers and move on. This is far from the case, as there are divorce documents you must hold on to. Though you may think keeping these papers will be a constant reminder of a failed marriage, you must hold on to these important documents. Keep reading to learn more about what you should hold on to and discover how a Los Angeles divorce attorney can help you navigate the divorce process.
What Divorce Documents Must I Keep Once Everything Is Finalized?
One of the most important things you must keep is your marriage license. Though you may not want to hold on to this document, it is vital to hold on to it. If your marriage lasted more than ten years, you’re likely entitled to collect social security benefits on behalf of your spouse, and your marriage certificate will serve as the necessary proof.
If you are paying or receiving alimony or child support, it’s essential to keep proof of payments. Whether through bank statements or signed receipts from your ex, ensuring both parties have copies of when they made or received payment is crucial. Keeping proof can help hold your spouse responsible if they do not pay you or claim you have not made a payment when you did.
You should also keep the settlement agreements from the divorce, as this contains vital information surrounding child support or custody. If you want to receive a post-judgment modification to the settlement, you’ll need to present this document to the court. As such, it’s crucial to hold on to it. The copy of the final judgment should have an official court seal to prove its authenticity, as you may need to submit an official copy to the necessary agencies.
How Long Must I Keep These Documents?
While some documents, like old tax returns, can be disposed of after three years, you should keep all documents relating to your divorce forever. Unfortunately, you don’t know when you may need to produce these documents. In some instances, scanning documents to your computer can be a good option if you don’t want to hold on to all the physical papers, but you still must keep the original copy of your divorce decree. Placing your documents in a fireproof lockbox can keep them out of sight and out of mind but still easily accessible should you need them.
At the Zitser Family Law Group, we understand that trying to understand these documents can be overwhelming. As such, we will do everything in our power to help you navigate this complex situation to make the transition into the new chapter of your life as simple as possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.