What to Take to Your First Divorce Meeting

The first time you meet with your divorce attorney, it can feel like an overwhelming task. You’ll want to bring copies of important documents and records, and you might have a lot of questions. But it’s also a time to share your hopes and concerns with your lawyer, and to set the groundwork for the best possible outcome in your case. 

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During this time, your attorney will help you understand what the law says about your case and how it works. You’ll also learn about the process of divorce, and how long it may take to complete. 

You will also discuss your expectations for the divorce and what you would like your lawyer to do on your behalf. You’ll talk about how you want your assets and debts divided, what custody schedule you would prefer, and what you may expect from your family support payments. 

What to Bring for Your First Meeting

Having all of the relevant information about your situation before you meet with your divorce attorney can make a huge difference in how quickly and effectively they can begin to assist you. This includes the names of any children involved, their school and extracurricular activities, medical appointments, doctor’s records, and other facts that can help them prepare for your case. 

It’s a good idea to bring copies of all financial documents and statements that you and your spouse have. This includes bank accounts, investments, retirement plans, and other assets. Depending on the complexity of your case, you may need to bring other documents as well. 

The financial details of your marriage are very complicated. They often involve large sums of money, complicated tax structures, and a wide range of assets. 

Your lawyer will need to know the exact value of any assets or debts you have. This will help them determine how much to ask for in a settlement. It will also help them calculate your potential child or spousal support payments. 

This is why it’s a good idea to come prepared with a list of all of your assets, including checking and savings accounts, as well as any other financial information you might have, such as investment portfolios or loans. It’s also a good idea to bring in copies of your tax returns and pay stubs so they can get an accurate picture of your income. 

You may also wish to bring in copies of any legal agreements you have with your spouse, such as a prenuptial agreement or property division agreements. This will give your attorney a better understanding of what you own together and can help them prepare the necessary documents for court. 

Another thing to bring for your first meeting is a copy of all court papers you’ve received from your spouse or their lawyer, especially those that indicate a court date and time. This can speed up the document collection process and minimize delays. 

It’s also a good idea to have a copy of any criminal reports that your spouse has had filed or served on you. This can be helpful in determining whether your spouse is guilty of serious wrongdoing, such as drugs or violence.