5 Important Things to Bring to a Divorce Consultation
Nearly 50% of all marriages end in divorce.
Perhaps one of the ways you can view this shocking statistic is that if you’re going through a divorce yourself, you are not alone in your experience!
Still, knowing that you are not a trailblazer does not make the process any more comfortable for most, especially when there is no “rulebook” or “guide” to walk you through the process (there are lawyers though..)
When we start talking about bringing lawyers into your divorce discussions, we want to make sure you have a baseline understanding of what to ask (us or others).
We’ve put together a quick list of essential things to bring with you to any consultation.
1. Bring A List of Prepared Questions
Going through a divorce is an emotional process, but don’t let yourself mistake a divorce consultation for a therapy session. Remember, this is a time to ask legal questions and get answers you cannot find from other people.
Before you head to your divorce consultation, write down at least five questions on a piece of paper or your phone. These might vary based on your situation, but they can include asking about the lawyer’s experience, how much they charge, and what you can expect.
Do not make the mistake of “remembering them in your head.” Odds are you will get caught up in the consultation and forget at least one of your questions.
2. Bring Real Estate Information to Your Divorce Consultation
Make sure you bring along any information about the property you and your partner own. You’ll want to grab things like your escrow papers, mortgage statements, and deeds.
Do this for every property you have owned together. That includes properties you owned in the past, even if you are not currently living there.
3. Bring Relevant Legal Documents to Your Divorce Consultation
Throughout the length of your marriage, you might have gathered a large amount of legal paperwork. You should bring as many of these relevant documents as you can remember.
The most important documents include the following:
- Separation agreements
- Social security cards, passports, and other identifying information for you and your children
- Your children’s birth certificates
- Prenuptial agreements
- Any other documents from legal proceedings regarding your partner or children
Reviewing these legal documents will allow your lawyer to better understand your situation during the divorce. They will also help your lawyer construct an estimated timeline of the divorce proceedings.
4. Bring Pay Stubs and Tax Returns to Your Divorce Consultation
Your lawyer will want to know how much money you and your spouse make for the household. To give them a good idea of how your income breaks out, bring the three most recent paystubs from both you and your partner if possible.
You should also bring your most recent tax returns as well. These returns will give your lawyer a better idea of the annual income.
If you have to choose one of these due to discretion or lack of being able to locate them, pick the tax returns.
5. Bring Incriminating Evidence (If You Have It) to Your Divorce Consultation
You might not have any incriminating evidence, but if you do, make sure you bring it along. This evidence might include photos, videos, notes/messages, or social media posts relating to the divorce. This evidence might be proof of things like cheating or abuse.
Getting a Divorce Consultation
Make sure you go into your divorce consultation with an open mind. You might want to get certain things out of the divorce, but you might not get them all. Instead, make sure you listen to your lawyer’s expert advice.
Are you in the middle of a painful divorce?
Make sure you check out some of our legal services and see how we can help you.