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Prepare for divorce by organizing documents now

Massachusetts couples who have made the difficult decision to part ways may feel the road ahead seems daunting. Typically, the divorce process requires a certain amount of time, effort and stamina (and sometimes a great deal of all three), which can take a significant toll on the people involved — emotionally, financially and even physically. People who are planning to get a divorce can help to reduce the impact on themselves and perhaps even achieve a positive outcome by taking steps to organize the necessary paperwork now.

First, people can create a checklist of the documents they may need, locate such documents and have them ready and accessible when needed. Here are a few examples of documents that may be needed once the divorce process begins: personal financial statements/balance sheets, property inventory (marital and non-marital), bank and investment account statements, real estate deeds, mortgage/loan documents, credit card statements, wills/trusts, insurance policies and possibly other important items. An individual may also include documents other than financial items, if applicable, such as pre-paid funeral arrangements, premarital agreements, etc.

Next, people can organize these documents in a way that makes sense to them and will allow them quick and easy access when necessary. To avoid missing important information when the time comes, people are smart to group similar items together (such as all home ownership documents, for example). People will also find it helpful to classify their assets as either separate property or marital property, as well as note how assets were acquired and when (prior to or during the marriage).

Most divorcing individuals find the divorce process quite stressful. Taking the time to organize as much as possible in advance, particularly financial aspects, can help to reduce anxiety during the process and increase the chances of reaching a fair outcome for all in the end. Many Massachusetts residents rely on an experienced family law attorney who can inform them of state divorce laws and provide professional guidance throughout the entire divorce process.

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