If you are thinking about pursuing divorce, a divorce attorney consultation could provide you with the opportunity to obtain a general understanding of your divorce issues.
And explore divorce options available to you and your spouse.
Then you can decide on the next steps.
Here are 5 Items to Discuss at a Divorce Attorney Consultation:
(1) Your Financial Information.
The law firm may request that you bring specific financial information to the consultation. However, if you do not have access to the financial information, the lack of access should be brought to the law firm’s attention and discussed at the consultation.
Here is some financial information that may be helpful to bring to a divorce consultation:
A description of you and your spouse’s employment as well as recent pay stubs for you and your spouse.
(b) Tax returns:
Last three years of tax returns for you and your spouse including supporting documentation such as 1099s and W-2s.
(c) Asset information:
Information pertaining to all assets owned by you and your spouse. This would include, but not be limited to, the marital home, other real estate, businesses, retirement accounts, vehicles, bank and investment accounts, and their approximate values.
(d) Liability and Debt information:
Information pertaining to all debt and liabilities of you and your spouse. This would include, but not limited be to, outstanding balances for credit card accounts, mortgages, lease agreements, car loans and other loans.
(e) Budget information:
A general description of the monthly marital budget. This may include, but not be limited to, expenses pertaining to food, clothing, insurance, extracurricular activities, education, transportation, and other personal and shelter expenses.
(2) Issues Pertaining to Children
The divorce consultation can provide you with some general information on the legal issues pertaining to your minor children and children who have not yet been emancipated. The issues may include, but may not be limited to, legal custody, physical custody, child support, college expenses, special needs, health issues, emancipation, holiday parenting schedule, and vacation schedule.
(3) Issues Pertaining to Alimony
If it applies to your situation, the divorce consultation can provide you with some general information regarding the legal issues pertaining to alimony. The marital situation might suggest that you are entitled to a claim of alimony or that you may need to pay alimony. Information may include specific alimony factors to be considered or an explanation of how alimony is calculated in your jurisdiction.
(4) Divorce Options
During the divorce consultation, you can ask about the divorce options available to you and your spouse. The options could include traditional litigation as well as out-of-court options. The out-of-court options can include divorce mediation and collaborative divorce. These options can be less expensive than traditional litigation. However, they require you and your spouse to participate voluntarily and in good faith.
(5) Retainer Requirements and Fee Structure
At the consultation, you could inquire about the law firm’s retainer requirements and fee structure. The retainer information provided by the law firm may depend on whether you want to retain the firm for litigation or for an out-of-court divorce option such as divorce mediation or collaborative divorce.