How to Prepare for a Divorce Consult

Going through a divorce can be a very stressful and scary time in one’s life.  Seeking the advice of a trusted attorney can help to lessen some of the stress and worry that comes along with divorce and separation.  Learning your rights and understanding some of the law that controls divorces in Maryland will increase your ability to take an active part in the outcome of your divorce.

The first step to is to meet with an attorney that can assess your case and work with you to plan a strategy that will help to ensure that you and your family make it through a separation and divorce with the outcome that best serves your emotional and economic needs.  Being prepared for your first meeting with an attorney can help to streamline that attorney’s ability to assist you in obtaining the best possible outcome.

Here are some things that you can do to prepare for your first meeting with an attorney.  Do not stress if you are not able to collect all of this information or documentation before your first meeting.  Depending upon how families have historically managed their finances, sometimes a particular spouse has not had access to this information or documents recently, or ever.  That is okay.  Part of your attorney’s job will be to work with you to collect all of the information and documents that you will ultimately need:

  1. If there has been any previous litigation involving you and your spouse related to divorce, separation, custody, support, etc., then bring the most recent court orders. If you have been served with court papers, then bring those court papers.
  2. Recently filed tax returns and supporting documents such as W2’s or 1099’s.
  3. Recent paystub(s).
  4. Recent retirement and investment statements.
  5. If you own your home, information about whose name is on the deed to your home and a recent mortgage statement.
  6. If you own vehicles, information about whose name is on the title to the vehicles and recent car loan statements.
  7. Understanding of what cash you and your family have in the bank, and/or recent bank statements.
  8. Understanding of what credit cards and unsecured debt you or your spouse owe and/or recent credit card or loan statements.
  9. Write a down list of questions you have prior to your meeting. The attorney will likely provide you with a lot of new information and having a list ensures sure that the questions that you have are answered.
  10. If you have minor children, consider before the meeting what custodial outcome you would like. Do you want your children to live primarily with you?  Are you hoping to work out an amicable shared custody arrangement?

In the end, having an initial consultation with an attorney will assist you in ensuring the best possible outcome for you and your family, and the attorneys at Love, Fleming, Bearsch & Halloran, LLC are prepared to work for you.

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