What are the important things I need to bring up?

Everything.  If you find that there are aspects of your relationship that you find humiliating, or for some reason you just don’t want to bring them up, that will only cause trouble for your case.  Those items, no-matter how much you want to believe they won’t come up, just may.  If your attorney already has that information, they will better be able to prepare for it.  In the event that they don’t see the light of day, nothing is lost and you can rest assured that your attorney is sworn to confidentiality about your personal matters.

In a better scenario, your attorney may discover a better pathway through this that you would never have considered.  Long story short.  Spill the beans.

What are your goals?  You will need to help your attorney find out specifically what you’re looking for and whether or not it’s a realistic expectation.  A good attorney will provide alternatives as opposed to just saying, “Oh, that won’t work.”

Do you have any pending cases or hearings coming up.  If you have a hearing that you have to attend to in a month, you will need to bring it to the attorney’s attention immediately.

Do you have an existing decree?

Is this a IV-D case, so that the state will be collecting child support?  If it is, then the family court will not hear your case, and it will instead go to a IV-D commissioner.

Do you have any existing paperwork?

Items that will change the way your case is handled will be:

  • Religious differences.  Do you have disagreements on your religion.
  • Are you technically a resident of the state based on state law?  If you’re not you can legally file for a separation, and then later file for divorce.
  • Do either of you have a criminal history?
  • Do either of you own, run, or have an interest in a business?
  • Do you have any assets that are not in the state?
  • Do you know all of the financial accounts attached to you and your partner?  Do you have, or can you attain documentation of them?
  • Do either of you have any pending lawsuits?
  • Is one of your financially dependent on the other?

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This is not to be considered legal advice.  This is general legal information.

Original script from Divorce Navigator Workshop#11:  Finding An Attorney.