What to Bring Up to a Divorce Attorney Consultation?
The first time you meet with a divorce lawyer, it is a very emotional experience. You may be stressed, sad, apprehensive or even overwhelmed at the thought of divorce, but you can take comfort in knowing that your meeting with a divorce attorney will be a positive experience and one that will help you find the peace you need to move on in your life.
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Before your initial consultation, it is a good idea to prepare by bringing as much information as possible about your situation. This will allow the lawyer to evaluate your case and provide you with guidance if necessary.
During your meeting, you will need to share some demographic information about yourself and your spouse. This includes the address, phone number, and date of birth for each party. This information is critical to the process of filing for a divorce, and can also be helpful in making a case for grounds such as cruelty or abandonment.
You will also need to be prepared to share any other relevant details about your situation. These include:
Where your spouse lives if you live together and where they have lived recently (or in the past). This will help the lawyer determine how they will work with you and your partner to come up with custody plans and other aspects of the divorce that are important to you.
If you have children, your lawyer will want to know about their ages and where they lived in the last few years. This will help them make the best decisions for you and your kids and can also be beneficial in determining child support.
Any previous year’s tax returns that you or your spouse have filed with attached W2s, 1099s, and other documents are also very helpful. It is also a good idea to bring any pay stubs you have as well.
This will give the lawyer a clear idea of how much money each party makes and can be very useful in calculating alimony and child support amounts.
Aside from tax returns, other documents that you will need to bring to your appointment include:
Any financial or bank accounts that you and your spouse share. Having all of this information will help the attorney see where your finances stand and can potentially be helpful in determining the final outcome of your divorce.
If you and your spouse are self-employed, a few current financial documents such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and business records can be helpful.
It is also a good idea to bring a copy of any agreements that you have with your spouse regarding child custody, parenting time, or property division. This will help the lawyer better understand your position and can also be used to determine if you have any legal rights or interests that need protection.
A good divorce attorney will be able to answer all of your questions and guide you through the process of getting a fair settlement in your case. They should be experienced and knowledgeable, compassionate, and understanding of your emotions.