In case you are wondering: What to bring to a family law or divorce consultation
Clients frequently ask me what to bring to a family law or divorce consultation. After years of answering this question, I thought I would post a list of items that I always like to see at an initial consultation involving divorce or a family law matter. By bringing these documents, clients enable me to give them the most valuable consultation possible because much of this information directly relates to clients’ rights, responsibilities, and legal options.
- All prior temporary or permanent court orders relevant to custody, visitation, or support matters
- Tax returns for the last 3-5 years
- Recent paystubs from client and spouses places of employment
- All other income information for any sources of income such as investments, dividends, etc.
- A list of assets in your marriage such as personal property, investment accounts, retirement plans, real estate, etc. (make a list of the items that are solely yours, solely your spouses, as well as items that are jointly owned with your spouse)
- A list of debts such as personal loans, school loans, credit cards, mortgage, car loans, etc.
- A monthly budget showing your living expenses
- Any relevant police or medical records that pertain to any allegations of child endangerment, child abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
- Any premarital (prenuptial) or marital (postnuptial) agreements
- A copy of your estate planning documents such as wills, trusts, medical directives, power of attorney
- Copies of health and life insurance policies
- A timeline of events leading up to the current situation
Even if you cannot bring all of these documents, the more you bring the better able I am to give you specific advice. You will also be well on your way to compiling the documents necessary to prepare and present your case should you begin negotiations or go into litigation.
This is not an exhaustive list of what to bring to a family law or divorce consultation but it is a good start. If you have other documents or items that you believe may be relevant to your case then please include them as well. A family law or divorce lawyer can never have too much information.