Checklist for getting a divorce in Florida

If you live in Florida and have decided to get a divorce, there’s something you should do before doing anything else: gather important paperwork. Nothing can slow down or complicate the process like waiting until much later. For example, gather your documents before telling your spouse about getting a divorce. Otherwise, he or she could end up with most of them, which will put you at a distinct disadvantage. Your divorce attorney will be able to request copies from your spouse’s lawyer, but that will cost extra time and money.

What Do I Need to Get a Divorce in Florida?

Financial Paperwork

Throughout your marriage, you and your spouse probably left a big paper trail of financial documents. Before getting a divorce, gather these things:

  • Statements from brokerage accounts
  • Bank statements
  • State and federal tax returns for you and your spouse
  • Homeowner’s, health, car and life insurance policies
  • Retirement account statements
  • Pay stubs, W-2 forms and 1099 forms for you and your spouse
  • Property leases
  • Credit card statements and loan documents, including paperwork related to mortgages and car loans
  • Paperwork related to your household budget

Personal Documents

Compile all of these documents before getting a divorce:

  • Your marriage license
  • Birth certificates for you, your spouse and your children
  • Employment contracts
  • Passports of children
  • Divorce records related to prior marriages
  • Divorce- and marriage-related contracts between you and your spouse, including prenuptial agreements, separation agreements and ante nuptial agreements.
  • Social security cards for you, your spouse and your children

Business Documents

If you or your spouse own a business, gather documents relating to that business prior to getting a divorce. Examples include:

  • Partnership agreements
  • Business tax returns from the local, state and federal level
  • Business balance sheets
  • Business insurance policies
  • Business contracts
  • Profit and loss statements
  • Minute books and corporate records
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Credit card statements and records related to the business

Documents Concerning Assets that You Own

If you’re wondering, “What do I need to get a divorce in Florida?” you should know that you will also need to gather documents that relate to assets that are owned by you and your spouse. They may include:

  • An itemized breakdown of items stored in safe deposit boxes
  • Documents related to land that you and your spouse own separately or jointly
  • Loan statements or titles for boats and motor vehicles that are owned separately or jointly
  • An itemized breakdown of valuable items that are owned separately or jointly

Getting a divorce is a difficult enough process with all the emotions behind it.  By having all of this paperwork in order, you will lay the groundwork for a smoother and less stressful divorce in Florida.