In a divorce settlement, you may be entitled to a share of joint marital assets, alimony and child support payments. However, this may only be true if you can show that you have a valid claim to them. Tax returns, bank statements and other documents may be enough to establish that you’re entitled to a given asset or ongoing financial assistance after your marriage in New Jersey ends.
How tax returns may provide leverage for a favorable settlement
A tax return can be used to verify how much money your spouse earned in a given year as well as how that income was obtained. For example, this document may show clear evidence that he or she owns a business that may be considered a joint asset. Alternatively, it could show that your spouse has the financial means to pay spousal or child support.
Financial records could prove that assets weren’t commingled
Let’s say that you owned a rental property before getting married. However, during a mediation session, your spouse claims that the home should be considered a joint asset. It may be possible to refute that assertion by producing bank statements or other documents showing where the money to buy, maintain and upgrade the house came from. These records may also be used to prove that other assets were not commingled during the marriage.
Medical records may be relevant during a child custody hearing
Medical records may be used as proof that your son or daughter is safer in your care. Statements from a child’s doctor, teachers or other adults may also serve as proof that you should be his or her primary caretaker.
As a general rule, it’s easier to obtain a favorable divorce settlement when you can produce detailed information about your financial status and lifestyle. This is because it is easier to verify that you are entitled to keep an asset or that you meet the requirements to request alimony payments. An attorney may help you gather and organize documents that you plan to use during settlement talks.