Help Your Divorce Lawyer Help You

Speaking to a divorce lawyer as soon as possible is a smart move on your part. In many cases, the party that seeks help and files first has an advantage. You can make things go smoother if you arrive at your first appointment armed with nearly everything your lawyer will need to get a head start on your divorce. Gather the following things in time for your first appointment.

Financial Information

This is a large area because divorces, no matter how emotional they may seem to most, are financial matters at their heart. With that in mind, your lawyer will need the following documents from you:

  1. A current budget along with predicted budgets covering separation and after the divorce is final. This provides your lawyer with what they need to evaluate the issue of spousal support and more.
  2. A list of checking, savings, and investment accounts. Be sure to indicate the name on the account and when it was opened. Accounts opened prior to the marriage may not be considered marital property. However, many types of retirement accounts are considered marital property, including those in one name only.
  3. Housing costs should be listed separately. Include mortgage payments, rent, property taxes, homeowner's insurance, utilities, and other housing expenses.
  4. You and your spouse's incomes, including the sources of the income.
  5. Childcare expenses should also be included.

Information Pertaining to Children

List any minor children by their age along with anything you think the lawyer should know about them. If they have special needs or medical conditions or need special education, for example, note that. Indicate who currently pays for their healthcare coverage as well. Be sure to discuss who the primary caregiver for your children is and what you expect in terms of custody and visitation. Make a list of tasks you accomplish for your children on a regular basis.


This list should include your home and all real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, expensive jewelry and art, precious metals, and more. If you or your spouse own a business, include the financial information for that.

Spousal Support

If you need spousal support or anticipate that your spouse will ask for it, include information about education, training, career outlooks, income, health matters, and more. Spousal support may only be approved if the providing spouse can afford it and the receiving spouse shows a need for it. Age, education, health, and more play a role in this matter.

If your lawyer needs anything more, be sure to respond quickly to their requests. Visit a website like to learn more.