At Miller Bowles Cushing, we are committed to guiding our clients through each step of the divorce process. If you are considering divorce, you should consult with an experienced lawyer to discuss all of your options. But what should you bring with you to the consultation?
Gathering information is one of the most important pieces of your relationship with your divorce attorney. Whether your case is uncontested or in full-blown litigation, your attorney needs important information to be able to advise you about your legal rights.
These are the standard documents you should begin gathering to provide your attorney:
#1: Real Estate
This includes your primary residence, vacation home, timeshare, lots, etc. Make sure you have the following real estate documents when you meet with your attorney:
- Deeds Promissory Notes
- Deeds of Trust
- Amortization Schedules
- Statements showing mortgage balance on the Date of Separation (DOS) and current date
You will need to find the important paperwork for any vehicles you own, such as cars, boats, motorcycles, or RVs. Look for the following documents and certificates:
- Certificates of Title
- Notes or other Loan Documents
- Statements showing loan balance on the DOS
Collect account statements for the months closest to the DOS (both before and after). This includes checking, savings, money market, brokerage accounts, and the like.
#4: Retirement Benefits
If you have been saving for retirement, you need to bring your statements for statement periods closest to the DOS (both before and after) when you consult with your attorney. This includes 401(k), 403(b), pension, profit-sharing, stock options, and the like.
#5: Life Insurance Policies
If you have a life insurance policy, you need to find the Annual Statement of Cash Surrender Value for statement periods closest to the DOS (both before and after).
You will need to calculate all of your debt when you get divorced. Find statements for months closest to the DOS (both before and after). This includes credit cards, student loans, personal lines of credit or loans, etc.
You will need to find paystubs from all your sources of income for the past three months.
#8: Tax Returns
Collect your federal income tax returns for the past two tax years. This includes all schedules and attachments (W-2 forms, 1098 and 1099 forms, extension requests, etc.)
#9: Work-Related Childcare Costs
If you pay for childcare while you’re at work, then you need to find all the receipts or statements for the past three months.
#10: Health / Dental/ Vision Insurance Premiums
Track down any documentation of the cost and actual payment of the portion of health/dental/vision insurance that covers any minor children you have with your spouse.
#11: Personal Financial Statements
Gather all personal financial statements you have given anyone during the past two years.
Do you have more questions about preparing for divorce? Then don’t hesitate to contact us so we can provide you with answers and discuss all of your options under the law. Call (704) 810-1400 to request your consultation with a lawyer at Miller Bowles Cushing.