What Should I Bring to My Initial Consultation about My Divorce?
If you are thinking about divorce or have initiated the divorce process, working with an attorney is one of the best things you can do, and is highly recommended. A divorce attorney can help to ensure that all loose ends in a divorce are tied, and that your best interests are protected as you negotiate a divorce settlement.
When you hire a divorce attorney to represent you during your dissolution of marriage case, the process will begin with an initial free consultation. During this initial consultation, you will have an opportunity to get to know the team who will be working on your case, and your attorney will have an opportunity to review the facts of your divorce, and learn about issues that are particular to your case. As such, it is important that you come prepared.
Documents and Details to Bring to Your Divorce Consultation
The more information that you can provide your lawyer with from the get-go, the more effective your attorney will be at building your case and providing you with competent representation. Important details and documents to bring to your first appointment with your Louisville divorce lawyer include:
- Pension plans. In most cases, a pension plan or other retirement account will be up for division in the event of a divorce, per Kentucky’s property division laws.
- Pay stubs/W-2s. Giving your attorney any pay stubs of yours or your spouse’s will help your attorney to form a clearer picture about your finances, especially because pay stubs will include information about bonuses, healthcare, etc.
- Tax returns. If you bring nothing else to an initial consultation about a divorce, bring your tax returns. More than just showing how much money you and your spouse make, tax returns provide information about retirement accounts, real estate holdings, investments, children, deductions, and more. A review of tax returns can provide important information about how much you may receive/pay in spousal support, for example.
- Bank statements. Statements from all bank and credit union accounts should be provided. Again, this information helps your attorney to form an accurate perception of your financial situation.
- Real estate documents. If you and your spouse own real estate together, you will need to determine a way to divide this real estate in a manner that is equitable. Bring any copies of land titles, deeds, mortgages, etc. for properties you own.
- Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. Pre- and postnuptial agreements are legally binding agreements that outline how property should be divided in the event of the death of one spouse or a dissolution of marriage. If you and your spouse have a pre- or postnuptial agreement, bring it to your attorney for review. Your attorney can help you to understand enforceability, and how a pre- or postnuptial agreement will affect issues in your divorce.
- Evidence of divorce fault. While fault in a Kentucky dissolution of marriage case has virtually been eliminated–today, divorce is based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage rather than fault–if you have evidence of fault, such as pictures that prove your spouse was having an affair, you should bring it to your attorney. While fault will not affect your ability to get a divorce, it may have an effect on certain issues in your divorce. For example, if you can prove that your spouse misappropriated marital funds, this could result in a property division settlement in your favor. Or, if you have proof of morally questionable behavior, this could affect the court’s opinion in regards to child custody.
- Other legal documents. Finally, be sure to bring all other legal documents that you have, such as your child’s birth certificate, Social Security card, identification, etc. When you schedule your initial consultation, ask the attorney if there is anything specific you need to bring that is not listed above.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Kentucky Divorce Attorney Today
If you’re going through a divorce, you probably have a lot of questions and are wondering how the outcome of your divorce may affect your future. When you call our Kentucky divorce attorneys, we will explain to you as much as we can during your first appointment, and be by your side to represent you throughout the process. Please reach our lawyers today at 502-895-2626. You can also send us a message with your contact information, or stop by our law offices in person at your convenience.