Preparing to Meet with a Divorce Attorney
While a divorce is simply the dissolution of a marriage at its most basic level, many complex issues arise during the divorce process. In some cases, the parties can agree to work through many of these issues, making the process much easier. However, an amicable divorce is never a guarantee, especially early on in the process. Thus, it pays to be prepared.
If you meet with a divorce lawyer for the first time, you will want to bring along certain documents. Having these documents with you when you meet with a divorce lawyer will help your lawyer get a better idea of the potential issues that may lie ahead.
Some of the most important documents your attorney will want to review relate to your financial situation. This includes:
• Bank statements;
• Brokerage account statements;
• Savings bond information;
• Retirement account or pension information;
• Tax returns from the past three years (including all schedules);
• Recent paychecks;
• Your employment contract;
• Mortgage loan statements;
• Car loan statements;
• Life insurance policies;
• Health insurance policies;
• Car insurance policies;
• Statements for any other personal or secured loans; and
• A list of monthly bills and their average amounts.
If you own a business individually or with your spouse, it is important to bring any documentation related to the business when you meet with a divorce lawyer, including:
• The Partnership Agreement or Articles of Incorporation;
• Business tax returns from the past three years; and
• Financial statements from the past three years.
Documents relating to physical assets
Many couples have accumulated significant physical assets over the course of a marriage. You will want to bring along documentation of these assets, including:
• Deeds to any real estate;
• Appraisals for any real estate;
• A list of vehicles and their estimated values; and
• A list of any other potentially valuable assets, such as artwork collections, antiques, jewelry, family heirlooms, etc.
Current estate planning documents
Your attorney will want to review any current estate planning documents you have, should something happen to you during the divorce. Bring a copy of the following:
• Your will;
• A living will;
• Any trust agreements;
• Power of attorney documents;
• Advance Healthcare directives; and
• Guardianship paperwork.
Potentially harmful evidence
While some divorces are amicable, it generally will not serve you well to assume that yours will be. The better approach is to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. This is especially important to child-custody determinations, as the court will want to see how you and your spouse co-parent. Along those lines, if you know of any inflammatory evidence against you or your spouse, you should let your attorney know. This includes the following:
• Text message;
• Voice mails;
• Video recordings;
• Allegations of abuse or neglect;
• Police reports; and
• Involvement of child services.
Again, you do not necessarily need to use this evidence or think that your spouse will use it against you. The important thing is to let your attorney know what is out there in case negotiations devolve.
A list of questions
Finally, you should put together a list of questions that you have for your divorce attorney. Understandably, you may not exactly what to ask or where to start with your questions. You can start by listing your concerns and asking your attorney how they fit into the divorce process and whether you can do anything to protect yourself from moving forward.
Other Divorce Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I File For Divorce In Oregon If I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is?
- Can My Spouse Keep My Children From Me While Our Oregon Divorce Is Pending?
- Do I Have To Move Out Of My Home During A Divorce?
- Do Stepparents Have Rights In An Oregon Divorce?
- Do You Have To Go To Court To Get A Divorce?
- Does A Non-Custodial Parent Automatically Have Parenting Time After An Oregon Divorce?
- Does It Matter Who Files For Divorce First In Oregon?
- How Do Courts Determine Child Custody in an Oregon Divorce?
- How Do I File For Divorce In Portland?
- How Do I Make Sure My Assets Are Kept Safe From My Ex-Spouse?
- How Do I Separate From My Spouse?
- How Does Divorce Impact Financial Aid For My Child’s College Education?
- How Does The Process Of Serving Divorce Papers Work?
- How Is Debt Divided During Divorce?
- How Is Property Divided During Divorce?
- How Long Do You Have To Be Separated To Get A Divorce?
- How Long Does It Take To Get A Divorce?
- How Much Does A Divorce Cost?
- How To Start A Divorce Conversation?
- How To Start A Divorce Process?
- Is It True That I Will Need To Complete A Parenting Class Before The Court Finalizes My Divorce?
- Is There A Waiting Period Before A Divorce Is Granted In Oregon?
- Should I Move Out During The Divorce?
- What Am I Not Allowed to Do During a Divorce?
- What Are The Grounds For Granting A Divorce In Oregon? Do I Have To Prove That My Spouse Did Something Wrong?
- What Do I Ask A Divorce Attorney in Oregon?
- What Documents Do I Need To Bring To A Divorce Lawyer?
- What Does a Collaborative Divorce Mean for Oregon Parents?
- What Happens After I File For Divorce In Portland?
- What Happens in a Divorce if My Spouse/Partner Has All the Debt in Their Name?
- What Happens in a Divorce if My Spouse/Partner Has All the Property in Their Name?
- What Happens To My Art Collection If I Get Divorced In Oregon?
- What Happens To My Boat If I Get Divorced In Oregon?
- What Happens to My Retirement Account if I Get a Divorce in Oregon?
- What Happens To My Vacation Home If I Get Divorced In Oregon?
- What Is A No-Fault Divorce?
- What Is Considered Grounds For Divorce In Portland?
- What Is Separation?
- What Is The Process For A Divorce?
- Why Should I Contact A Divorce Lawyer Before Filing?
- Why Would The Court Reject My Divorce Paperwork?
- Will My Spouse Get My Inheritance After We Divorce?
- Will Obtaining A Restraining Order Against My Spouse Help Me In My Divorce?