Checklist: Preparing for your first meeting with your attorney

There are many facets to divorce, from determining parenting time if you have minor children to figuring out how to split assets and deal with debts. That’s why you need to be prepared to offer lots of information and insight to your attorney—the more prepared you are, the easier it will be for your legal counsel to help you.

Your first meeting with your attorney will be an important time to get the ball rolling, so consider the following as you prepare for your session:

  • Divorce documents. Bring copies of all relevant documents related to your divorce. For example, if you or your spouse has already filed for divorce with the court, bring a copy of the resulting court order, or, if you created a prenuptial agreement, bring a copy of that.
  • Financial documents. Also bring copies of your financial information. Your attorney will need see all of your marital assets and liabilities, so be sure to have all earnings, bank account, 401(k), pension and real estate information, as well as anything related to debts, such as credit card or loan statements. You should also have copies of at least the last two years of your tax returns.
  • Write down the facts. Have ready all the key facts related to your marriage and divorce—key dates, such as when you got married and when any children were born; relevant legal names, including your spouse’s and any children of your marriage or of previous marriages; and the current status of your marriage and living arrangements.
  • Write down your questions. You likely have many questions about your situation as well as about your attorney’s background and approach; write them down before you come to the meeting to be sure you have everything addressed.
  • Take notes. Be ready to take notes, whether you like to do that with a pen and paper or with an electronic device. You’ll be getting a lot of information in this first meeting, and it’s important that you have a handle on it all.

This first meeting is the time for you and your attorney to start building a trust-based relationship. That means that you will need to be honest and open regarding all case-based matters, even if you feel like it puts you in a bad light. Your lawyer isn’t here to critique your choices; he or she is here to help you navigate the tough divorce process as seamlessly as possible. If you’re still looking for an attorney to represent your case, we’re prepared to fight for you. Contact us for a free, no obligation consultation at (303) 688-0944.

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