Preparing to File Your Raleigh Divorce Claim
Preparing to file your Raleigh Divorce Claim be overwhelming. After your initial meeting with an attorney, you’re given a laundry list of financial documents, deadlines, and checklists. Many of the financial documents required you may not have immediate access to or you’re concerned you’re not going to be able to obtain them within the time constraints required. This can be exacerbated if your claim is already pending by the time you hire a lawyer as the clock starts ticking on the date of filing.
If you’ve been representing yourself you may not have a clue what you need, when you need it, and what happens if you can’t get it.
It is good practice to start gathering these documents before you file your claim, as the clock starts ticking on the you the date that you file your complaint for child support, spousal support, alimony, or equitable distribution.
A common question asked when meeting with potential clients is “what do you need me to bring.” If you are filing a claim for child support, post-separation support, alimony, or equitable distribution, Wake County local rules require the filing party to voluntarily provide certain financial documents to the other party. In support cases to expedite your claim you should begin to gather the following documents as they are required to be disclosed shortly after filing your claim:
- 2 years income tax returns
- 3 months pay stubs
- documents reflecting child care and child health care related expenses
- documents reflecting ownership of stock or stock options
- proof of child support obligations for other children
- proof of extraordinary expenses
- any other documents reflecting income from the past two years
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Additional documents may be required in high income cases and in cases in which the Child Support Guidelines do not apply. In Equitable Distribution/Property Division cases you are required to submit similar documents. These include all documents pertaining to:
- real property in which a legal or equitable interest is claimed. (e.g., deeds, deeds of trust, appraisals, promissory notes, etc.)
- motor vehicles in which a legal or equitable interest is claimed.
- retirement plans
- insurance policies
- financial accounts
- stocks, stock options, bonds
- 5 years tax returns (business and personal)
- 3 years personal financial statements
- Bills of sale relating to any property sold in the 12 months preceding the date of separation
- Documents reflecting income since the last tax return
Getting started on collecting these documents can be a daunting task. A head start prior to meeting an attorney or filing your claim can go a long way towards making the process more efficient and smooth.
Note that each county in North Carolina has their own set of local rules that may require additional documents and impose different deadlines than what is required in Wake County. You can review your county’s local rules at nccourts.org.
Get all of your questions answered in a confidential consultation today. We’ll evaluate your case, answer your questions, and explain your options in a clear and concise manner. Contact us today.