Understandably, undergoing a divorce is a difficult and scary time as your whole world has been flipped upside down. As you grieve the end of your marriage and move on to the next chapter of your life, you may be tempted to discard everything that reminds you of your former spouse. Although you want to start the next chapter of your life with a clean slate, you must resist the temptation to get rid of certain legal paperwork. Keep reading to learn what legal documents should be kept after your divorce is finalized. In addition, discover how our knowledgeable Monmouth County Divorce & Separation Attorneys can help you avoid future issues with your settlement agreement. 

What documents should I keep after my divorce is finalized?

After a divorce, it is critical to hold onto significant legal paperwork as it may be needed in the future. For instance, although you may want to discard your original marriage license and certificate, you should keep it in a safe place as you may need to reference it to affirm you and your spouse were married. It is imperative to keep your marriage certificate as you may be eligible to claim your former spouse’s benefits. If you were married for 10 years or longer, you will likely receive Social Security benefits based on your former spouse’s record. Therefore, to affirm the marriage and establish the length of the marriage, you must preserve the original marriage license and certificate. Alongside your marriage license, you should keep your divorce decree. Your divorce decree will also be useful to prove the duration of the marriage as it indicates the date the divorce was finalized.

Following your divorce, you should keep all of your financial statements if you receive or pay alimony or child support. In the future, the court may ask you to provide them with your financial records if one spouse has a significant change in circumstances. Instead of calling your bank and the tax board to obtain this information, it is better to keep these documents.

Should I keep my settlement agreement?

Furthermore, one of the most important legal documents you need to keep after your divorce is finalized is your settlement agreement. When divorcing, your settlement agreement enforces the terms of dissolving the marriage. This includes any specifications about whether you will receive a certain amount of money for child support and alimony each month. If one party has had a significant change in circumstances, they may request that the court modify the existing order to reflect their current circumstances. You will need to present the original settlement agreement if you want to request or change any aspect of your agreement. Therefore, it is beneficial to keep a copy of your settlement agreement.

To save yourself a headache down the road, you should keep the above documents as they will be useful in numerous circumstances. If you are undergoing a divorce and require quality legal representation, contact a trusted attorney from Paone Zaleski & Murphy today. With years of experience, we can help you navigate this complex legal process.