For many California spouses, the onset of the divorce process is filled with uncertainty and unease. Meeting for an initial consultation with a divorce attorney can help a spouse feel better prepared to move forward with the process, and can also give insight into what to expect. There are a number of ways to prepare for this initial meeting, and doing so can greatly improve the experience for all involved.
One initial step involves gathering information concerning the family’s assets. When considering assets, it is important to list all major items such as homes, land, vehicles and recreational items or timeshares. Other assets that should be itemized include retirement accounts, investments and life insurance. Be sure to include a list of debts, as well, including both shared and individual accounts.
Income is another topic that will be covered during the initial consultation. Income will determine the amount of child support or alimony that is either paid or received. By having a solid estimate of both spouse’s income, it is possible to determine how that will change once the divorce is final. Income also determines one’s ability to pay for legal needs, which can factor into the legal strategy for negotiations and other matters.
As with any major decision, proper divorce planning involves a great deal of preparation. By coming to the initial meeting fully prepared, there will be more time to ask questions and go over the various aspects of a divorce. California spouses should know that it is not necessary to have exact numbers at this stage of the game, but being able to provide an attorney with an overall picture of the marriage and all assets can help structure the next steps in the process.
Source: Huffington Post, “Making The Most Of Your Consultation With A Divorce Lawyer,” Lisa M. Gregg, March 14, 2013