The key to meeting with your divorce lawyer for the first time is similar to the first day of school – always come prepared. Coming equipped with the right supplies will help ensure that the process goes smoothly. So what should you do in preparation for meeting with a lawyer and what should you bring with you? Read on to find out.
When Meeting With Your Divorce Attorney
Assemble the following documents:
- Tax returns (helpful in estimating potential alimony and/or child support)
- Recent pay stubs for both parties (provides a current earnings picture)
- Retirement/pension/401k plan details (typically some of the largest assets a couple owns and therefore helps paint the picture of your current financial situation)
- Bank/investment account statements
- Real estate deeds
- Credit card statements
- Prenuptial and/or Postnuptial Agreement(s)
The lawyer will need to hear your story. To save time and be precise, jot down any relevant information related to your personal and/or business background ahead of time. Include what you believe are important facts of your case. This may include:
- A timeline from when you married and the events leading up to the decision of divorce
- Information on your children
- Information on former marriages and divorces (if applicable)
- Key issues of the divorce –timesharing/custody, property issues, business ownership issues, etc.
- Other issues that may impact the divorce such as physical or sexual abuse, criminal records, drug or alcohol abuse, etc.
To preserve your confidentiality type or print on the top of each page of your timeline the words “ATTORNEY – CLIENT PRIVILEGE INFORMATION”. Send this fact sheet to the lawyer ahead of time, so he or she may look at it before your meeting in order to better prepare. Make sure that any copies of your timeline/information worksheets are located where your spouse or others cannot have access to them.
Think of questions
This meeting is your opportunity to get answers to whatever issues are concerning you about your divorce. What are the key things stressing you out and what part of the process would you like to know more about? Also, this is your chance to learn about the lawyer. Feel free to ask them about their relevant work experience, the payment for their services, their stance on mediation, etc. List all questions or concerns that come to mind. The only bad question is an unasked one.
While you may be anxious about the road that lies ahead, preparing for the journey will help you quell your concerns. Arrive at your first meeting with the divorce lawyer armed with both confidence and the tools needed for them to do their job.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney in West Palm Beach Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss your divorce, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.