When you decide to divorce in New Mexico, it can be scary at first for a lot of reasons. For starters, it’s likely that you’ve never done this before, so you don’t have the knowledge you would like to navigate it. Whether you are considering divorce right now or are already in the process, one overlooked area that is often essential both during and post-divorce is your documentation. Having accurate records for everything from your communication to your assets could prove invaluable at any moment. Even if you’re not completely certain about what you need right now or what you will need in general, you should still take the following steps so your information is all together and safe.
What you need
While the documents that you need will vary by divorce and your situation, there are certain things that are almost universal no matter where you are, such as financial records, property documents and personal information. Your attorney is a great resource here, so ask him or her what you will need to get together for your case. Ongoing communication documentation, for example, may seem pointless, but it can be very important if there are disputes about an agreement or if you are being harassed by your former spouse. If you have children with your ex, having these records can be helpful when it comes to disagreements and information sharing. Written records of your communication about your children shows that you are involved as a co-parent and can disprove accusations otherwise. In short, document anything and everything that you feel could be relevant to your case. The worst-case scenario is that you will never need it, which is far better than being in the position of having no evidence to back up your position later.
If you are having trouble getting some information about assets, be sure to tell your attorney immediately. Your ex might just be difficult, or he or she could be hiding something, and you deserve to know exactly what should be part of the divorce. Your attorney can use experts to determine whether assets or other items are being hidden during the divorce process to ensure your settlement is fair at the end of the day.
Keep your information safe
Your documentation is only as good as its integrity. This means you need to ensure your information can’t be lost or tampered with, as that will make it useless to you. For hard documents, scan them and upload those backups to a secure place. Hard drives on computers fail all the time, so you may want to save them to an external hard drive or cloud service. For communication, there are apps and software available that will keep track of messages for you, making it a lot easier and less likely you’ll miss something. When it comes to your documentation, always ensure you have a backup in place in case something happens to the original.
How you gather and protect your documentation during and post-divorce can be crucial if you run into issues later. In addition, with unambiguous, clear documentation, you may even be able to avoid landing back in court over a dispute later. When you have clear evidence for you and your former spouse to review, it can make reaching agreements and resolving disputes easier, either on your own or with a third party involved, such as a neutral mediator. Even though you’ve got a lot going on right now, it’s important that you don’t let your documentation slide. If you need help, you can ask a trusted friend or relative to hold information for you.