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What documents and records should I gather for my attorney heading into a divorce?

Jackson, TN |
Attorney answers 4


In addition to your financial records you will need to bring all documents that may have an effect on the outcome of your case. This includes, but is not limited to, e-mails, letters, photographs, police reports, etc. If you have not included credit card statements and detailed bank statements with your financial documents, you may want to have those available for your attorney if needed. Also, if you have a will it would be a good idea to have your attorney review the will as you will need a new one drafted for you.

That being said, ask your attorney before you bring in a giant box of documents to the office. It may be that additional documents are not necessary for your case. I recommend you make a list of all the documents you have that you believe may be helpful to your case. List the name of the document with a brief description of the information that each contains (e.g. E-mail: from spouse to lover, Letter from Spouse: threatening to kill me if I left, Police Report: spouse arrested for domestic assault, Photo: showing spouse smoking bong, etc.). Your attorney will then be able to quickly review the list and tell you what may actually be helpful.

Rely on the expertise of your attorney. He/she will be able to give you the best advices as to what documents are needed based upon the specifics of your case.

Good Luck.

The legal information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Your receipt of the information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a contract for representation by Fetters Law Firm, PLLC. Ryan F. Fetters is licensed to practice law only in the States of Maine, Tennessee & West Virgina.


Mr. Fetters has an excellent answer here. Divorces always involve the division of marital property and the division of marital debts. Thus, you will want to begin compiling all documentation that evidences ownership of property as well as documents that evidence debts.

If you have children, then you will want to compile income information, child care information, as well as health insurance premium information, be it employer health care or private health care.

If alimony is a possibility in your divorce, then you will want to compile any documents or writings that would point towards the fault of your spouse.


First, and foremost, you should speak with your lawyer about which documents you need. It concerns me that you are represented and your lawyer has apparently not advised you on this issue. This is the type of thing I go over with my clients during our very first meeting and I update my requests for documents during the course of the divorce. Please consult with your attorney about this ASAP as I wouldn't want to send you off on a wild goose chase for certain documents if those documents aren't relevant to the issues in your case.

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Most people overlook everything before they go to see an attorney about a divorce. While an experienced attorney should know more questions to ask than you can anticipate, every marriage is unique. Mainly, you will need to let your attorney know why your case is different or unique. Make list of everything that is important to you, because your experienced attorney will assist and direct you in covering the rest.