Having that initial consultation with a divorce attorney can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience. However, there are some steps you can take to make the process a little easier.
First, bring as much financial documentation as possible. Your attorney will want to discuss:
– How much income you and your spouse earn,
– What your retirement and non-retirement assets are,
– Any real estate properties you or your spouse own,
– Any businesses or professional practices you or your spouse are involved in,
– A list of your current debts
– Evidence of any assets acquired either prior to the marriage, or by gift or inheritance.
Also, be prepared to detail the history of your marriage: your attorney will want to know the respective work history of you and your spouse; who was primarily responsible for the care of your children; what type of lifestyle you maintained; what your typical expenses were; whether you, your spouse or your children have any health issues or special needs. More information is always better than less. We can tell if something is not relevant, but if you do not share information with us, we may be missing a valuable piece of information that could help you.
Finally, it is important to understand that emotional pain does not equal more money. Many marriages that end in divorce are painful, particularly if there has been infidelity and deceit. However, emotional suffering does not translate into a financial advantage.