Most individuals ask this question when they make their initial consultation appointment with me. This is a great question since it will make the consultation much easier to explain to the client. I normally will respond with the follow:
1. Please bring your marriage certificate. Your marriage certificate has a lot of information that I will need if you are filing for a divorce. This document is also needed to be filed with the Family Court when you file for divorce.
2. Please bring in your most four (4) recent pay stubs. If there are any financial issues such as child support, that I can estimate what a child support guideline will be based on your monthly gross earning and your partner's monthly gross earnings. Your pay receipt will also state what you are paying for medical and/or dental insurance. Since the child support guideline worksheet gives deductions for these expenses, your monthly gross income will be reduced by these expenses.
3. Please bring in any pensions, 401(k), IRA(s), Deferred Compensation etc. This will save you a lot of expense and time. Once I have these computations, you will be able to know and I can then calculate if all of the pensions etc. are marital or only a portion is marital. Pensions etc. are sometimes a huge asset that one of the parties has accumulated during the course of the marriage. This is the parties' retirement funds and they are very important to one's financial future.
4. If you have minor children, please bring with you: Any and all day care costs receipts, extracurricular receipts, medical receipts. This will be helpful in calculating a child support guideline worksheet.
5. PLEASE: Do not bring any anxiety or fear!: Most individuals are very anxious when meeting with an attorney. Please note that I am very down to earth and my office is quite informal. Your first consultation for a divorce will be very comforting knowing that I have the competency, integrity and compassion for you and what this time period in your life means to you. After practicing for 26 years, I completely understand your position and mind set. Feel free to call me at any time. I always respond to telephone calls. Again, you will be treated with dignity and I will guide you through this array of issues that are very important to you!