What Documents Are Needed to See a Divorce Attorney? 

If you’re going to see a divorce attorney, there are several things you need to prepare. First of all, you should bring your marriage certificate. Secondly, you need to bring income and business tax returns, as well as pay stubs. You’ll also need to bring any restraining orders you have. If you have any of these items, you’re almost halfway there. 

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Bring a copy of your marriage certificate 

If you are considering getting a divorce, one of the first things you’ll need to bring to your consultation with a divorce attorney is a copy of your marriage certificate. A marriage certificate is an official record of your relationship with your spouse and serves as prima facie evidence of your marriage. The marriage certificate can be obtained from the Department of Health’s Vital Records Unit. You may also need it to change your name on a financial account. 

Income tax returns 

One of the most crucial financial issues in a divorce is determining the parties’ income. W-2s are often an understatement of the real compensation because of 401k contributions and health insurance premiums. The divorce attorney will need to see the actual W-2s to fully understand the parties’ true compensation. They should be provided in a timely manner. Also, income tax returns are valuable planning tools. 

Business returns 

Visiting a divorce attorney is important if you own a business and need to determine how much your income is. Tax returns can be confusing and oftentimes, a business owner hides income by listing friends or family members as employees. The owner may also have hidden income by putting a friend on the payroll who agrees to give back the money after the divorce is finalized. Forensic accountants can help find these hidden assets and income. A tax accountant can analyze business returns and check for bogus invoices. 

Pay stubs 

You might be wondering why you need to bring pay stubs when you go to see a divorce attorney. These documents will help the attorney understand the financial circumstances of each party. Your pay stubs will detail your income and expenditures, as well as any bonuses or health insurance coverage you may have received during the year. You may also need to bring your tax returns in order to prove your investment income and any income you have earned from a side gig. Tax returns are also important since they detail your assets and liabilities. They can also outline any financial obligations between you and your spouse, which you may not have known. 

Bank account information 

If you are planning a divorce, you’ll probably need to bring bank account information to your appointment. This is important because it is possible for your spouse to have a secret account with the same bank. Your attorney can also subpoena documents from your spouse’s employer, which will list all the monies he or she has spent on the account.