Welcome back and thanks for joining us. We’re looking at how daunting the first meeting with your new divorce attorney can be, and how to prep for it properly. We understand that sitting down to discuss a divorce with a lawyer can be an intimidating process, (and a costly one) so we’re trying to help you be as prepared as possible so that you know exactly what to expect and what to bring, which will save you time and money in the long run.
Being prepared is half the battle!
In our previous article we gave you a few basic tips to keep in mind for your future meetings with your attorney. But now we’d like to give you a comprehensive list of things you should bring with you when you arrive the first time. We’ve broken the list into two parts – personal and family information, and financial information.
Your attorney may not need all of this info right at the start, but the more you have with you, the less you have to pay for follow up calls and emails down the road. Feel free to print this list out and use it as a checklist while you prepare for your meeting.
What to bring with you to the first meeting (personal and family information):
- Copies of your marriage and birth certificates. (your attorney may not need these, but it never hurts to have them on hand, just in case!.)
- Information about any prior marriage of either spouse. (occasionally there are discrepancies, like a previous marriage that never actually ended in the eyes of the court, which means your current marriage isn’t even on the books!)
- A copy of any domestic contracts, like a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement (these can be quite hard to enforce in court, especially if they were written years ago, but your attorney will need to see what you agreed to when you got married in case it becomes a sticking point)
- Information about any previous legal proceedings between the spouses or involving any of the children. (have either of you ever been arrested? Did CPS get involved at any time? Were any of your children from a previous marriage, and then were adopted by you or your spouse? All of these could affect the outcome of your divorce)
- Dates and information about any previous separations, attempts at reconciliation, or marriage counseling. (How rocky has your marriage been so far? Your attorney will need to know if you’ve ever been separated before, been to see a therapist, or considered divorce)
- Names and ages of the children in your family. ( the divorce process is always more complex when kids are involved. Child support and custody are hugely important, so your attorney will need to know about all of your kids.)
- Social security and driver’s license numbers. (this will help your attorney pull records, which lets them build a more complete picture of the people they’re dealing with)
It’s intimidating, but you CAN do it!
Have you ever heard that saying, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – We think it applies to most people. So while we understand that this can seem like a scary process, the truth is that you will probably be fine in the end, and if anything, you’ll come out braver, stronger, and smarter than before you started.
Join us next time for the wrap up of this list, and a few final tips on how to be fully prepared for this very important meeting, Until then, if you or a loved one are considering divorce, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 and talk to our skilled family law attorneys. We’ve been helping the people of mid-Michigan with their family law concerns for decades, and we can help you too.