Hi there and welcome back. If you’ve just stumbled on this series now while looking for information about your first meeting with your divorce attorney, we recommend you spend a few minutes getting caught up. So far we’ve provided a few tips to keep in mind, and also a list of the personal and family information you need to take with you to your first meeting. In this segment we’re going to look at the financial information you should gather before meeting with your attorney.
What will the meeting be like?
The average meeting (called a legal consultation) takes about an hour. During that time you’ll need to share a lot of information about your marriage and plans for divorce. Your attorney will advise you about the process, telling you what you can expect, what steps will be taken, and what your options and legal rights are. They will also provide you with a long list of information you need to give them. Luckily, if you follow our list you’ll have most of it with you already. You’re welcome.
What to bring with you to the first meeting (financial information):
- The name of your employer, and your spouse’s employer, including dates of employment. (your attorney needs to know where you work and how long you’ve worked there, as this has an impact on your financial future)
- Copies of your (single or joint) income tax returns for the last three years. (this provides information about your financial situation, which helps with alimony and child support information)
- Copies of your last three pay stubs (if you work outside the home). (your attorney needs to have a complete picture of your income in order to understand what you and your spouse are up against)
- Note your spouse’s income and other household income. (you may not be able to get copies of your spouse’s paychecks, but you can write down what you believe they are paid, and make notes on the household budget, what your bills and monthly expenses are)
- Name of bank, saving and checking accounts numbers, amounts and whose names are on the accounts. (this helps your attorney know where to look when creating a complete picture of your family’s finances and assets)
- Any information about stocks, bonds and other investment information. (your attorney will need this info when figuring out how to divide assets and debts)
- Pension information, whose name it is in and when they began to contribute to the pension. (this helps with creating a complete picture of the family’s financial situation, which is important in any divorce!)
- A list of any valuable items such as jewelry, artwork and other collections. (this will also help with division of assets)
- Purchase date, purchase price, remaining balances and current value of real estate holdings. (this is also part of understanding your family’s financial situation, and help with dividing assets during the divorce)
- List all debts, including amount owed, to whom, account numbers, when they were incurred, when they are due and whose name they are in.(your attorney needs this to understand how best to divide your assets and debts)
- Education and employment background of both parties. (this will help your attorney to understand earning potential for both parties in the future)
Make a list of questions and concerns…
And last but not least, we recommend you spend a little time thinking about any questions you may have ahead of time. Write them down and bring the list with you. Every time you call your attorney up to ask a question after this consultation, you’ll be billed for it. So if you come fully prepared, you’ll save yourself both time and money.
We look forward to meeting you!
If you’ve chosen a different attorney, we wish you the best of luck and hope that your divorce is a success. If you chose the skilled and experienced divorce attorneys at The Kronzek Firm, we look forward to sitting down with you. It’s been an honor and a privilege to help the people of mid-Michigan prepare for their futures, and we look forward to figuring out how we can help you during this difficult time.