New Years resolutions bring the thoughts of losing weight, spending less time at the office, or making more money, and some of you start thinking about filing for divorce. When we are meeting with a potential new client for the first time, we typically give people a list of things to bring to the initial consultation. While we typically meet with people prior to reviewing any documents or even reviewing them on the first meeting, here is a list of items you might want to review or bring with you to the first meeting:
- Retirement and Stock Account Quarterly Statements. This will let us know if we need to get information from the plan administrator of the retirement accounts regarding how the account may be divided and what the current amount is in the plan.
- Household budget with supporting documents. Your Dallas Attorney needs to know the average monthly amounts for all of your usual monthly expenses. Copies of the latest statement for each bill such as the electric, water, gas, cable, cell phone, etc. would be helpful.
- Paystubs & Income tax returns. Please provide current wage statements both for yourself and your spouse and the complete returns, with all schedules and attachments, for the last 3 years. We will use this to help figure child support and we also need these if we are figuring alimony.
- Deed to Your Home. We use this to locate the legal description. We can then get a print out from the latest appraisal of your real estate from the Dallas County Appraisal District online.
- Bank account statements. It is helpful to have your bank records for the current month for every bank account of any type, checking or savings or other, for you, your spouse and your children…
- Pre-Nuptial Agreement. You should bring a copy of any pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement that you have signed with your spouse.
- List of debts and liabilities. Please prepare a list of all the current debts you are aware of, including but not limited to, mortgage, car loans, student loans, leases, credit cards and other liabilities. The list should include the total balance for each and the minimum monthly payment amounts.
- Medical insurance card. Please bring a copy of your medical insurance card and any information you have about the policy, specifically about the coverage and cost. We need to verify who has coverage and will need to attach a form regarding this with the first-filed pleading with the court.
- Personal property list. It helps to have a list of the personal property (such as furniture, household items, personal effects, etc.) that you want on an immediate and temporary basis. We also need to know where it is located. Many people forget that they have items in a storage facility.
- Social Media and e-mails. Compile a list of social media sites used by you and your spouse, and the names and passwords, if you know them. This should include Twitter, Facebook, My Space, YouTube, LinkedIn, Blogs, and other sites. You need to understand that email is discoverable so that you need to be careful what you write down in an email. If you have any e-mails between you and your spouse that you think are relevant you need to let your lawyer know about these emails.
This information will provide you with a good start to the information that your Dallas Attorney will want to review. If you have other questions, you can reach us at 972-353-4600 or at www.thewrightlawyers.com. The Wright Firm, L.L.P. has offices in Dallas, Denton, Lewisville, Frisco, Plano, and Ft. Worth to assist you in your divorce or family law case.