Write Down Biographical Information First, it helps to prepare biographical information. This includes your full name, address, phone numbers, date of birth, employment, driver’s license number, social security number, the same information for your spouse, and the date and place you were married.
If child custody is an issue, bring your children’s full names, sex, dates of birth and residences for the prior five years, with dates for when they lived at each address. If you are separated from your spouse be sure to bring the date of separation as well. Create a Narrative of Your Marriage Next, you should prepare a narrative of your marriage. Describe yourself, your spouse, history, past and current marital problems, details about your children, your strengths and weaknesses, and your spouse’s strengths and weaknesses. Let your attorney know what you think the main issues will be in the divorce. Share the Tough Stuff Sometimes it can be difficult to share what has gone on in a rocky relationship, but it is important to let the attorney know details, even if they are difficult to discuss. For instance, if there was domestic, spousal or child abuse that occurred during the relationship, those are very important details to share. Additionally, if there have been prosecutions or protection orders, you should bring that documentation to your appointment. Start Thinking About Child Custody If child custody is an issue in your divorce, it’s a good idea to bring information that is relevant to a custody determination. This information will differ depending on the circumstances: For instance, perhaps since separation, your fifteen-year-old has lived with the opposing party and his grades have declined, he has been missing a lot of school and getting into trouble. You’d want to bring his school records and attendance records to your attorney. Perhaps, there is Facebook evidence that you believe relates to custody in your case. If so, bring it. Text messages and social media evidence is increasingly prevalent in custody cases. It is best to get this evidence early before it can be deleted. Gather Financial Information Finally, you will need to gather financial information. Your attorney will need to know about your assets and liabilities. You can make a spreadsheet or simply write down your basic assets: cash, checking accounts, savings accounts, IRAs, 401K, pension fund, real estate, automobiles, boats, mineral rights, and other assets of significant value. Also include your debts. For instance, credit cards, mortgages, loans, student loans, etc. Bring your last two years of tax returns to the appointment, and year-to-date pay stubs for both you and your spouse. Put together a list of your monthly living expenses. Preparation Pays Off It may sound like a lot of work but being prepared will help your attorney to help you, save you money, time and give you a great chance at a successful outcome in your case.