Whether you or your spouse have been unfaithful or you just no longer share a loving relationship, dissolving the marriage may be a smart option. An estimated 1 in 4 marriages end in divorce for some reason or another, so you should not be ashamed if you are considering divorce. Scheduling a consultation with an attorney is a great first step if you are considering ending the marriage, but you should be prepared for this meeting. With this guide, you will know what to bring to your initial divorce consultation.
It is important to note that you are not obligated to make any concrete decisions regarding your marriage at the consultation meeting.
In most cases, you may still have feelings and emotions towards your spouse that are lingering. You may also have a strong desire to save your marriage. With this all in mind, make sure to bring any and all questions to your consultation.
The consultation is a great time to ask legal questions, ensuring you understand the divorce process fully before proceeding.
Your attorney will also advise you to take some time before finalizing paperwork that will be used to serve your spouse. Once these papers are served, the future of your relationship will change drastically.
When you end the marriage, you are also ending a financnial agreement you have had with your spouse. You may have joint bank accounts, loans, credit cards, and real estate that will need to be divided and dispersed as the marriage ends.
If you are confident about moving forward with the divorce, it is helpful to gather all of your financial documents before the consultation with an attorney. Here is a list of documents you should bring to your consultation:
- Last few years of tax returns
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements
- Loan statements
- Real estate documents
- Prenuptial agreements
- Life, health, auto, homeowner's, and other insurance policies
- Income statements/pay stubs
You should also bring copies of your children's birth certificates, since custody and child support arrangements will need to be discussed.
Last, but not least, make sure to show any evidence that you may be considered incriminating.
If you have proof, such as photos or videos from a private investigator, of your spouse's infidelity, your attorney will need to see this. Evidence related to your spouse's addiction or abuse towards you and your children will also be helpful if and when the divorce case goes to court.
Divorce is not a pleasant process, but proper planning can make it less stressful. To schedule your consultation, contact your attorney and use this guide to prepare.