Regardless of whether you were recently served with a divorce petition or you are planning to file for divorce, you should consider speaking to a divorce attorney for advice. As you prepare for the initial divorce consultation, you will need to gather specific paperwork. To ensure that your first meeting with the attorney is as productive as it can be, here is a list of items that you need to take with you.
List of Questions
You are likely going to have a lot of questions that you want to ask the attorney, but you are also going to be nervous. Therefore, you should make a list ahead of time of the questions that you want to ask so that you do not forget them. Some of these questions may include how long the divorce process may take, what experience the attorney has, what type of costs are involved, and what kind of outcome can be expected. Of course, if you have children, you will want to ask questions regarding custody, support, and visitation.
Proof of Income
It is important to show your attorney the income of you and your spouse so that alimony and child support can be properly calculated. If at all possible, you should ensure you have three months of paycheck stubs with you. In the event that you are unemployed, self-employed, or a homemaker, make sure that you have the relevant documents to prove such and/or be prepared to discuss such circumstances with the attorney.
In addition to paycheck stubs, you should also take the last couple of years' tax returns with you. These will not only show your income but also your assets. In the event that it is tax season, you should discuss with your attorney the best way to move forward with filing, such as the most appropriate filing status.
If you have previously been divorced, make sure that you take the court decree or settlement agreement with you to show you obligations like child or spousal support. Your divorce lawyer needs to also see any proposed settlement agreement or prenuptial agreement with your current spouse. Make sure to take birth certificates, adoption papers, etc. for all of your children as well.
If you have any incriminating evidence against your spouse or yourself like videos, photos, letters, social media posts, or text messages, take it with you to the meeting. Your attorney needs a complete picture of your marriage, and this includes any information that may be used against you or your spouse in a custody or alimony legal battle.
For more information, contact a local divorce attorney.