Unfortunately, we live in a world where divorce lawyers are readily needed, on average there are two divorces every minute in the United States. That’s a whole lot of divorce cases. Sometimes it’s because of unfaithfulness, other times two people just got married young and ended up changing, still other situations just weren’t meant to be. There are some significant indicators, for example if you argue with your spouse once a week about finances there’s a 30% greater chance you’re marriage will end in a divorce than those that don’t.
Regardless of the reason if a divorce is imminent in your future there are few things you’re going to want to plan for before the divorce attorneys even get involved. A divorce consultation is one of the first steps in a proper divorce procedure and while it probably won’t help to save your marriage, it will help to manage the entire situation. Here are three things you should bring to a divorce consultation.
1.) Questions: It might seem obvious, but it’s a good idea to write down a few questions you’re going to want answered. Most people think they’ll be able to come up with them on the spot and while that is certainly possible, it’s probably better to do yourself the favor of writing them down so you don’t forget during what could be an emotional time. Asking the divorce lawyer about their experience, an estimate of how much your specific divorce will cost, and about how long the entire process could take are all great places to start.
2.) Financial Documents: Eventually divorce attorneys are going to want records of pretty much everything, especially finances. Pay stubs, tax returns, prenuptial agreements, birth certificates, and basically any other important document concerning your life or that of your spouse/children will come in handy the first time you meet for a divorce consultation. The more information they have the better they will be able to answer some of the questions from above. Pay stubs are particularly important because of the potential alimony/child support that may be involved.
3.) Potential Evidence: Finally, although it is slightly more sinister, you should bring any sort of incriminating evidence you might have against your spouse. Let’s face it, divorces can get ugly and there’s no sense in waiting around to pull an Ace from your pocket. If you have anything like videos, photographs, or even things like social media postings can be used to support a possible adultery/abuse claim. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that many states now operate under “no fault” laws, meaning those types of things will have virtually no bearing on the divorce.
A divorce consultation can be an uncomfortable and awkward thing for all parties involved, but the more prepared you are the quicker and easier the entire process will be. Take at least these three things with you and you’ll be in a better position than most.