If you have decided that you want to get a divorce, it can be helpful to prepare in advance. Before you speak with your spouse about divorcing, there are important documents that you need to collect for your attorney. Doing that before discussing your divorce with your spouse may give you the opportunity to get documents that they could restrict from you otherwise.
To make it easier to get everything you need, it’s a good idea to talk with your attorney about what you need. The following is a short checklist of the main divorce documents to bring with you when you go to your consultation.
Which documents should you bring to your first divorce consultation?
If you are ready to meet with your attorney, you will need documentation of your taxes, income, assets and debts, at the very minimum.
Some of the tax and income documents that you should bring include:
- Your individual tax forms for the last two to four years
- Paperwork for any partial or total disability being received by you or your spouse
- Proof of your and your spouse’s current income
- Employment contracts
- Business/corporate tax returns
Some information about assets or debts you should bring include:
- Retirement account information
- Lump-sum payout information from lawsuits/claims
- Stock or bond certificates
- 12 months of bank statements
- A list of major assets and debts
You should also bring information about:
- Any prenuptial agreements you signed
- Copies of trusts you are involved with
- Homeowners’ insurance information
- Copies of outstanding bills
- Copies of your mortgage, if you have one
Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list. Your attorney can talk to you about additional items you should bring when you meet with them to make your divorce go more smoothly.