What Documents Should I Prepare Before Meeting With My Divorce Attorney?
Whether you and your spouse are still considering a divorce or have already decided to move forward with the process, one of the first steps you’ll need to take is to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer. This initial consultation is very important, as it can help divorcing couples better understand the legal implications of their situation and allow the attorney to start devising a legal strategy. To help you make the most of your first meeting with a divorce lawyer, we’ve included a list of some of the documents you’ll most likely need.
Before you start discussing the specifics of your marital situation with your divorce attorney, you’ll need to provide copies of some personal identification documents, including:
- A valid photo ID;
- Your Social Security card; and
- Any legal documents related to your marital status.
You’ll also need to provide other documents related to your marriage, including a certified copy of your marriage certificate. If you can’t find the original, you can obtain a copy from the vital records office where the marriage was registered.
Once you’ve established your identity and provided proof of your marriage, you’ll need to produce documentation related to your assets and liabilities, both of which will need to be divided during divorce. Records that you may need to provide to your attorney include:
- Tax returns from the last three to five years;
- Pay stubs and other income records;
- Bank statements;
- Retirement and investment account statements;
- Records of other sources of income, like rental properties;
- Loan agreements; and
- Credit card statements.
These documents can help give your lawyer a better understanding of your financial situation and in turn, assist you in starting the property division process. Bank, retirement, and investment accounts aren’t the only assets that are divisible upon divorce, which is why divorcing couples should be sure to bring documents related to other valuable assets, such as:
- Deeds and titles for real estate, vehicles, and other properties;
- Appraisals and valuations;
- Any records of major purchases; and
- Any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, which will contain a list of all valuable assets.
For help compiling the income and property-related records that you’ll need during your initial divorce consultation, please reach out to our legal team today.
Some of the most complicated issues that divorcing couples must grapple with involve their children, so if you and your spouse share a child together, you should be prepared to bring documents related to their care and well-being to your first consultation, including:
- Birth certificates;
- Health insurance information;
- Records of child care expenses; and
- Any preexisting child support or custody agreements.
Besides having these records ready to discuss with your attorney, also be prepared to remain open, honest, and cooperative in providing additional details not only about your children, but about your relationship in general.
Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer
For help navigating your divorce, please call experienced Florida divorce lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today. We can help you prepare for your first consultation by giving you a heads up on what kinds of documentation you’ll need to bring.