Have you ever wondered how long to keep divorce papers? When going through something as stressful and upsetting as a divorce, it’s only normal to want to put it in the past as soon as possible.
It’s crucial to keep in mind, however, that even after a divorce is official, there are still a number of monetary and legal details to settle. You should make sure that you can easily access these records whenever you need to, regardless of how long to keep divorce papers by law or your specific set of circumstances.
In this piece, we’ll go over the recommended length of time to maintain divorce paperwork and offer some tips on where and how to keep it.
Overview of Divorce Papers
To answer the question of how long to keep divorce papers, it’s important to master the basics of divorce papers. Filing for divorce requires the completion of a series of formal legal paperwork. Forms and paperwork that must be filed with the court in order to get a divorce are included.
Different states and jurisdictions have different requirements for divorce paperwork. Divorce paperwork often consists of a divorce petition, a summons, a financial affidavit, child custody, and support paperwork, property division paperwork, and a marriage settlement agreement.
Property and asset split, child custody and support arrangements, and spousal support are only some of the concerns addressed in these legal documents. Divorce proceedings can commence once all paperwork has been completed and submitted to the court; however, how long to keep divorce papers depends on the state and the complexity of the divorce.
How Long to Keep Divorce Papers
Divorce paperwork should be kept for a period of time determined by both state law and your individual circumstances.
Keeping a copy of your divorce decree and other relevant paperwork is a good idea even after the divorce is finalized. This is so because you never know when you might need to refer back to these records for financial or legal purposes. So, how long to keep divorce papers?
Divorce records must be retained for a certain amount of time in some states. Divorce paperwork, for instance, must be preserved for at least five years in the state of California. Divorce records in the state of New York must be retained for a minimum of six years.
Consult an attorney or review the laws in your state to find out how long to keep divorce papers and what is required of you in your particular situation.
Statutes of Limitations when Keeping Divorce Papers
Now that you know how long to keep divorce papers, you should know that there’re several statutes of limitations for keeping them. Different states and different types of divorce paperwork have different minimum storage periods before they must be destroyed.
All divorce paperwork should be kept for several years after the divorce is finalized, at the very least. However, property deeds and financial records are two examples of papers that may need to be preserved indefinitely.
Certain sorts of legal papers may be subject to a time limit before they can be challenged. In California, for instance, you may need to maintain spousal support papers for at least four years after payments have ceased because of the state’s four-year statute of limitations.
Reasons for Keeping Divorce Papers
Besides the limitations, you should also seize some reasons for keeping divorce papers as an integral part of determining how long to keep divorce papers. There are several reasons why it’s important to keep divorce papers and related documents:
- For starters, you never know when you might end up in court for something like a child support or custody battle down the road.
- Second, the assets, obligations, and income details are all included in the divorce paperwork. Possible potential uses for these records include loan applications and tax returns.
- Third, if you and your ex-spouse were married for at least ten years, you could split their retirement or Social Security payments.
- Last but not least, maintaining divorce records can give you peace of mind by making sure you always have access to the details you need in the event of an emergency.
Tips on Keeping Divorce Papers
This blog has presented the answer to how long to keep divorce papers, but it’s not the end without approaching these tips for storing them.
- It may be helpful to group related documents together, such as tax returns, custody paperwork, and real estate contracts.
- You should think about storing electronic copies of your divorce paperwork in a safe cloud service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
- Protect your divorce paperwork from fire and theft by keeping it in a secure area like a locked filing cabinet or safe.
- Divorce paperwork should be kept in two places: a safe deposit box and with a trusted relative or friend.
- To find out how long you are required to retain your divorce paperwork, you can look into the legislation in your area.
There you know how long to keep divorce papers and why you should keep them, as well as some methods to store them. The length of time that you should keep divorce papers may vary depending on your specific situation and the laws in your state.
By following these tips from Janet McCullar, you can keep your divorce papers organized and secure, and ensure that you have access to them when you need them.
FAQs about How Long to Keep Divorce Papers
How long should I keep my divorce papers?
The length of time that you should keep your divorce papers may vary depending on your state laws and specific circumstances. It’s generally recommended to keep them for at least several years after the divorce is finalized.
Can I dispose of my divorce papers once the divorce is finalized?
No, you should keep your divorce papers for at least a few years after the divorce is finalized in case you need them for future legal or financial matters.
What determines how long to keep divorce papers?
The length of time to keep divorce papers is determined by state laws and the specific circumstances of the divorce.
What should I do with my divorce papers if I move?
Take your divorce papers with you when you move and make sure they are kept in a secure location.
Can I keep digital copies of my divorce papers?
Yes, keeping digital copies of your divorce papers on a secure cloud-based storage system is an excellent idea. This can provide an additional level of security and allow you to access the documents from anywhere.
What should I do if I lose my divorce papers?
If you lose your divorce papers, try to obtain copies from the court where the divorce was filed. If that’s not possible, you may need to hire an attorney to help you obtain the documents.
What documents should I keep after my divorce is finalized?
You should keep all the documents related to your divorce, including the petition for divorce, financial affidavits, child custody agreements, and property division agreements.
Can I decide how long to keep divorce papers?
While you can decide how long to keep your divorce papers, you should follow the statutes of limitations and keep them for at least several years after the divorce is finalized to avoid legal and financial issues.
How long should I keep property division documents?
You should keep property division documents indefinitely, as they may be needed to prove ownership or value of assets in the future.
How long should I keep child custody documents?
You should keep child custody documents until your children are adults, as they may be needed for future disputes or legal matters.