“What information do I need to bring to an initial consultation with my divorce lawyer?”
You should bring any financial documents that will help the attorney determine the income, expenses, assets, and liabilities of both parties: tax returns, corporate tax returns, and business balance sheets, to name a few. If there are any previous agreements — such as prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, or other pending legal actions involving one or both parties, either civil or criminal — those documents should be brought.
In addition, if there is a computer in the home, consider making a disk or a printout of any files containing income and expense information, along with business and even personal data. You can never bring too much information to an initial consultation. Any calendars with notes on them, as well as diaries kept or logs kept, are beneficial.
You should also provide demonstrative evidence you think may be important. For example, if there is domestic violence and pictures were taken of an incident, these pictures should be brought to the meeting. Some clients don’t have any financial information, since the other partner is solely responsible for the family’s finances. However, this information would be solicited through discovery in the divorce proceedings. If you have prepared a letter or statement listing what you feel to be the important facts and concerns, bring that with you as well.
Victoria A. Calebrese has specialized in family law since 1984. An attorney with Lewis Kapner P.A. Attorneys, she combines extensive, traditional litigation experience with an emphasis on settlement and mediation to effectively represent clients while remaining dedicated to preserving and protecting the family.