Many people who find themselves facing divorce quickly realize the need for a family attorney that works in the field of divorce. After all, by its very nature, divorce isn't about harmony and agreement! While working with a divorce lawyer is extremely helpful for most people, simply hiring an attorney isn't the only thing you'll need to do if you want to get through the divorce as easily as possible. You also need to help the attorney in several important ways. Among the most helpful things you can do for your lawyer is to get the consultation appointment off to the right start by bringing certain information along with you. The average consultation is only about a half hour long, so making good use of that time by being prepared is essential. Here is a list of what you should take to the first appointment with your new divorce attorney.
A Copy of Any Current Legal Paperwork
When you go to the consultation, you may have already filed for divorce. If so, you should bring along the paperwork regarding that filing. If your spouse has responded with any legal actions of their own, this paperwork should be seen by the divorce lawyer as well.
Additionally, you should bring along any other paperwork that details legal actions involving either you or your spouse, even if the legal action is unrelated to the divorce. This includes both misdemeanor and felony charges. Your attorney may represent you on these unrelated legal matters, or you may have a separate criminal defense attorney for those charges.
While something like a DUI charge may not seem like it's relevant to the divorce, it is possible that your spouse could try to use such a charge as leverage during the divorce. Thus, your attorney needs to be fully aware of any legal actions at the time you visit them.
A Synopsis of Assets and Debts
While compiling a complete list of all assets and debts may be difficult, it is important that your lawyer has at least a good general idea of the assets and debts that you and your spouse hold jointly. If there are any significant assets or debts that are held separately, but which were incurred during the course of the marriage, these should be listed as well.
The asset list should include things such as:
Properties that are owned in full
Vehicles that are owned in full
401(k) accounts, IRA accounts, and other retirement accounts
Checking and savings accounts
The debts list should include:
Credit card debt
Student loan debt
Cash loan debt
While amounts need not be exact at the consultation, giving a lawyer (such as one from Medeiros & Associates) the financial information is an important part of planning a good property distribution plan. With the information above, your divorce attorney may just be able to fast track the divorce. This will save you energy, time, and maybe even money!