A lot goes into choosing a divorce attorney. It is wise to interview three attorneys before you decide which to hire. During the attorney interview process, you can learn about the attorney’s experience, their fees and get a feel for whether or not you feel the two of you could have a good working relationship. In those meetings, also try to gather information that the divorce attorney you select will need from you.
Once you’ve made your decision, the new attorney will need information from you in order to get the ball rolling and the divorce process started. Some information is basic, will require no work from you. Other information will require time and energy and it is always best to be prepared.
So, before you even start the interview process, get ahead of the game by gathering as much information as possible so that when it comes time to answer questions your new divorce attorney has, you will be prepared.
Below is a list of common information your divorce attorney will need. You will find this list helpful when compiling documents and materials your attorney will expect from you.
Personal Information Your Divorce Attorney Will Need
1. Your basic information: full name, date of birth, and social security number.
2. Contact information such as an address, landline/cell phone number and email address.
3. Proof of state residency.
4. Information about your employer: name, address and phone number.
5. Your length of employment and your monthly or annual salary. You should be prepared to show your attorney at least three years in income tax returns.
6. Your spouse’s basic information: full name, date of birth and social security number.
7. Contact information for your spouse such as an address, landline/cell phone number and an email address.
8. Your spouse’s employer information, such as address and phone number.
9. Your spouse’s length of employment and salary.
10. Where to serve your spouse with divorce papers if the attorney will be doing so. At your spouse’s work or place of residence?
11. Wedding details: the date and place you were married.
12. The name of your spouse’s attorney if he/she has one.
13. The name of a marital therapist you and your spouse visited with times and dates.
14. A list of the marital problems that led to divorce if any involve alcohol or drug abuse, religious differences, infidelity, sexual incompatibility or, domestic abuse.
15. Information about children from this marriage: the full names, dates of birth and social security numbers of any children born during the marriage.
16. Current custody arrangements, including which parent the children resides with and whether or not a custody dispute will be part of the divorce process.
17. Information about children from previous marriages on either side: the full names, dates of birth and social security numbers of any children from a previous marriage.
18. Details about your child support, if applicable: If you pay, how much? If you receive, how much?
19. Details about their child support, if applicable: If they pay, how much? If they receive, how much?
20. Who provides health insurance for the children born of this marriage?
Property Information Your Divorce Attorney Will Need
21. Addresses of property owned jointly or separately.
22. Addresses of any mortgage companies you have accounts with.
23. The estimated fair market value of homes owned.
24. The balance on any mortgages.
25. The amount of monthly payments to a mortgage company.
26. A list of all personal transportation: automobiles, boats, motor cycles, trailers, airplanes, or other qualifying vehicles, owned jointly or separately.
27. The year, make, and model of each vehicle and who has possession.
28. The name and address of any lender who may hold the title to any of the items of personal transportation.
Financial Information Your Divorce Attorney Will Need
29. A list of all joint and separate bank accounts, savings accounts, C.D.’s, Credit Union accounts, Savings Bonds and Stocks and Mutual Funds.
30. How many debit cards you have for each account and the names on those cards.
31. A list of any credit card accounts you hold jointly or separately. The names on the accounts and the balance due.
32. Information about investment accounts, such as retirement accounts, 401(k)s, etc.
33. Disclosure of any life insurance policies, whose life is insured and for how much.
34. Information about money you are owed, including names of those who owe you money, how much they owe, and the expected payment date.
35. A list of any lawsuits you may be involved in.
36. A list of any livestock, such as cattle or horses that you may own.