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Documents You Should Prepare

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As you get ready for your first meeting with your family law attorney, you should prepare certain documents and information to bring with you. The information you provide will help us assess your situation and develop a plan that will be the best fit for your objectives. This list is a guide to help you get started. Not all items listed may be applicable to your situation, and we may ask you for additional information and/or documents not on this list as well.

Financial Information (including account names, numbers, balances and current statements)

Individual income tax returns for the past three to five years (state and federal)

Business income tax returns for the past three to five years (state and federal)

Recent income stub

Bank statements

Statements from trusts, stocks, bonds or US Treasury notes

List of safety deposit box contents

Investment accounts (annuities, mutual funds)

Retirement Savings Information (including balances, beneficiaries, outstanding loans and current statements)

401(k)s

403(b)s

IRAs

Life insurance policies (including cash value)

Social Security statement

Pension statement

Property Information (including property description, address, ownership interest, market value, outstanding mortgage and loan balances, source of mortgage and loan payments and most recent tax assessment)

Primary residence

Rental properties (including any rental income)

Vacation homes

Business property

Personal property of value (antiques, collectables, automobiles, jewelry, art, computers, electronics, clothing, furs, etc.)

Inheritance (current or anticipated)

Interests in trust (current or future)

List of property owned by each spouse prior to marriage

Automobile(s), boat(s) or other recreational vehicle(s)

Bills and Outstanding Debt (including balances, statements, source of payments/funds)

Credit card statements

Loan documents

Utility bill

Other bills (school tuition, medical bills, etc.)

Monthly budget worksheet

Legal Agreements

Wills

Living wills

Powers of attorney

Durable powers of attorney

Advance directives (also termed power of attorney for healthcare, healthcare proxy)

Prenuptial agreements (also termed premarital agreement, antenuptial agreement)

Divorce decrees or child support from a previous marriage

Non-financial Contributions

Contributions of a homemaker

Contributions made by one spouse to further the educational and/or career goals of the other spouse

Finally, you will also want to start thinking about other issues that may or may not be applicable to your situation. These are matters about which you should speak with your attorney and may include:

Child support

Child custody (legal, physical)

Visitation

Residence in the marital homestead

Beneficiaries of insurance policies and other benefits

Spousal support / alimony

Domestic violence issues (including child abuse)

Post-divorce non-financial support

Attorney’s fees and expenses

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