Many people find it therapeutic and freeing to clean up their house after a divorce. This gives them the opportunity to purge unwanted belongings, free up some closet space for more of your own items, and get rid of things that remind you of your ex.
Even in today’s digital age, paper consumption has increased by 126% over the last 20 years from 92 million tons to 208 million tons. Getting rid of old documents is part of the process of divorce and transitioning into a new life.
Document Purge While Moving
Many people move after divorce. They might have decided to downsize, or they may just want a fresh start in a home that doesn’t constantly remind them of their ex. Purging unnecessary documents helps to unclutter and reduce the amount of things you need to move.
Some of the documents that you may be able to purge while moving include:
- Income tax returns beyond the term your accountant recommends you keep them
- Statements from joint credit or checking accounts that you closed as part of the divorce process
- Health insurance information for an insurance plan you or your spouse are no longer part of
- Investment account statements for accounts you closed as part of the divorce
- Utility bills from a service you will no longer be using
- Copies and originals of all wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents you have revoked
- Sentimental items you no longer want to hold on to, such as old cards, ticket stubs, or love notes
- Magazines, junk mail, and other unwanted mail in your spouse’s name
There may be some papers you want to keep if they are relevant to your future, such as:
- Your marriage certificate
- Your divorce decree
- Your property settlement
- Financial records for accounts that are still relevant
- Health insurance information you might need to make a claim for you or your children
- Pension plan information and retirement plan information that pertains to you or is relevant to your QDRO
- Social Security statements
- Your Social Security card until you change your name
- Department of Motor Vehicles license and registration information
- Insurance cards
- Tax returns for the time your accountant recommends you keep them
- Your spouse’s employment records if you need them for support purposes
How To Get Rid Of Documents
Many of the documents you will want to get rid of will likely contain sensitive information about you, your spouse, or your children. For example, they may contain your Social Security Number, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, your address, and other information. Document shredding is the best and safest method of disposing of these documents because it tears up and distorts this information so it is much harder for a criminal to get unauthorized access to it. You will still want to be sure to dispose of the shredded materials in a safe location for an extra layer of security.