Preparing to Meet with Your Divorce Attorney

How to prepare for meeting your Cedar Rapids attorney
When preparing to meet with a divorce attorney for the first time, it is important to gather all of the necessary documents. Gathering all of these documents takes time. Getting everything together before the initial meeting will ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. Preparing for an initial appointment with a Cedar Rapids divorce attorney should begin as soon as the appointment is made. It may take time to collect all of the important documents. Creating a divorce file or folder will help to keep things organized. It will also be helpful to divide the documents into separate areas of concentration. Bank statements, tax forms and investment information can be included with other financial related documents. Staying organized will help to make the entire process so much easier. Getting everything together swiftly may prove to be a little challenging. The earlier the process is started, the less stressful it will be.

Financial Statements

A divorce attorney will need to review bank statements and tax information from both parties. A divorce attorney will need state and federal income tax returns in addition to pay stubs and bank statements. The attorney will need W-2 statements from both parties, going at least three years back. Bank statements for joint and individual accounts are necessary. Stock, bond and mutual fund information will also be required. A Cedar Rapids divorce attorney needs as much financial information as possible. In addition, account statements for any annuities, CDs or 529s should be given to the attorney. Finally, both parties need to contribute social security statements.

Property Information

A divorce attorney needs information regarding any owned properties. Property descriptions, addresses, outstanding mortgages or balances and ownership interests should all be disclosed to the attorney. Information on the primary residence, vacation homes, rental properties and other pieces of real estate should be brought to the attorney’s attention. Any items of value, such as jewelry or antiques must be disclosed. In addition, information on all vehicles is necessary. Finally, if there are any safety deposit boxes, the contents should be disclosed.

Savings and Retirement Information

A divorce attorney will need all information on any retirement plans and savings accounts. Information regarding balances, beneficiaries and statements should all be included. An attorney will need the paperwork for 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs, SERPs, SEPs, Keoughs, and pensions.

Debts and Bills

Any information regarding unpaid debts and bills needs to be brought to the attorney’s attention. Both parties should have copies of their credit card statements, tax liens, leases, loans, utility bills, student loans, personal loans, medical bills and information on any other account that is outstanding. In addition, parties should create a monthly budget worksheet to let the attorney know exactly what their financial situation looks like from month to month.

Legal Documents

Copies of legal documents should also be brought to the lawyer. Any wills, living wills, health care directives, business agreements, pre-nuptial agreements, previous divorce judgments, and previous child support orders should all be reviewed by the divorce attorney.

Insurance Information

Insurance documents must also be brought to the attorney. Carrier name, police number and other pertinent information should all be included when making copies of these documents. A divorce attorney will need to see policy information on health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, disability insurance and long term care insurance.

Additional Applicable Information

Divorces proceedings can vary depending upon the circumstances. Bringing all of the necessary information to the divorce attorney is incredibly important. If children are involved, a child custody plan should be discussed. A calendar can be used to illustrate desired visitation rights. A Cedar Rapids divorce attorney will also need to know what will happen to the marital home. A lawyer may also want to know if beneficiaries will remain the same on current insurance policies. The attorney will also need to know how legal fees will be paid. Some couples already have a plan for spousal support or alimony. In addition, division of debts and assets should be considered. Having this information ready before an initial appointment ensures that time is used efficiently. At least two copies should be made of every document. One copy should be for the lawyer, and another copy can be kept.