During the holiday season, it feels like days move quickly. Somehow, December 31st often falls upon us faster than the last day of other months. Cultural pressure to focus upon holidays and emotional tugs towards repeating comforting traditions combine to distract us from less pleasant tasks, like organizing financial records and thinking ahead to issues that you will need to discuss with your lawyer. In our earlier blog, “When Life Changes, So Should Your Case Information Statement,” we reviewed the mandatory financial disclosure form that New Jersey Courts require, and how to assess when it is time to update that form.
The New Year also presents a good opportunity to review your financial status with your attorney, reevaluate your priorities and financial concerns, and decide whether to fully overhaul your Case Information Statement. Over the next few weeks, you will be receiving your income tax information from 2021. As you gather those documents and emails, please remember to send copies of your last pay stub, your W-2 and 1099 forms (including those received from interest-bearing accounts), and all other related documents to your attorney. You might also receive summary statements on retirement plans and credit cards. If you took advantage of mortgage forbearance options from your lender, accessed retirement accounts under the CARES act, or received any stimulus benefits, those documents are also important.
If you get your statements digitally, save a copy for yourself, take any necessary security precautions like adding a password for protection, and then email it to your attorneys. If you get paper statements in the mail, then the fastest and cheapest way to get your financial information to your attorney is to scan it and then share the digital copies. Use your smartphone to scan and save your own records. Different versions of phones and software updates may change how you can use your device to provide high-quality scanned documents to your attorney and your financial advisors. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free handout of instructions about how to scan using your Apple or Android device.
Understanding the importance of all of your records, your financial rights, and obligations, and the best way to protect yourself will improve your outlook for 2022. Contact the experienced family law attorneys at Cohn Lifland for more information.