What to Bring to an Initial Consultation with a Divorce Lawyer
You can make the first meeting with your divorce attorney time-effective if you are organized ahead of time. Feel free to call ahead and ask the lawyer or one of the assistants what paperwork and information would be good to have with you. Our divorce law firm has a client intake form already prepared which you may complete at the office, but you may save time by completing it before the meeting.
Some of the items you should consider bringing to your initial meeting are:
- Information pertinent to the reason you are seeking a divorce for example, if your spouse is running up debt, bring account information; if your spouse is being abusive, bring hospital bills, photos or police reports
- Contact information for you and your spouse: date of birth, social security number, any alias or prior names, address, phone number, place of employment
- Information relating to your children: name, date of birth, social security number, concerns about their welfare, special needs, schools they attend
- Asset information and documentation: list of assets, financial statements, retirement plan documents, bank statements, income tax returns from the past 3 to 4 years, real estate documentation, motor vehicle documentation
- Debt information: list of debts, credit card statements, mortgage statements, home equity line of credit, personal loan statements, car loans or lease information
- Legal documents: any documents served on you to start a family law proceeding (if the other party initiated the proceeding), information about the date you were served with papers, prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement, protective order, prior divorce orders, prior modification orders, prior orders of paternity
- Estate planning documents: will, advanced directive, powers of attorney
- Your own list of questions personal to your case
All of these things may be useful to your attorney at the first meeting, but if it seems too overwhelming, don’t worry, this information can be gathered later—the important thing is to get to that initial consultation so you can know what your rights are and to avert any potential disasters.