Friday, January 16, 2015

5 Things You Should Have in Order When Talking to a Divorce Lawyer

Prior to filing for a divorce, there are certain steps that you should take to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Divorce can be a challenging and difficult time for you and your family, but it’s important for you to begin undertaking the necessary steps to begin the divorce process.

During this time, it’s imperative that you enlist the aid of an experienced and competent divorce attorney. Salem, MA residents will need to find a lawyer whose experience matches their specific situation. For example, there are legal representatives who have expertise in custody battles, and others who specialize in complex financial analyses. Once you have decided on a legal representative, there are a few steps you should take to prepare for your first meeting.


Be sure that you know all the assets that you intend to take into possession during the separation period. This is especially true of assets that you need for daily living, such as vehicles and items of furniture. Take inventory in your home and create a list of your household furnishings. You need to make a list of items to be liquidated between you and your spouse, which should include items such as precious jewelry, expensive artwork, cash, and collectibles.

Appraisals and Insurance:

You should have your valuable items appraised by a professional so there is no dispute over their cost. Then, bring a copy of the appraisal along with you to the appointment with your divorce attorney. Salem, MA clients should also remember to bring along records of any items covered by insurance.

Important Documentation:

Although you should seek further advice from a divorce attorney, Salem, MA residents should compile a full list of real property that includes address, date of purchase, and any mortgage or lien information on the property with assessed or estimated values. This information is what your divorce attorney will need to properly assess the overall value of the estate for division.

When you schedule your initial consultation with a lawyer, be sure to bring copies of any other important documents to the meeting. This includes copies of your last several years of personal Federal Income Tax returns; recent copies of statements from any credit card or other debts that you have; copies of your recent pay stubs if you are employed; and recent copies of statements for any financial accounts you possess such as a pension, 401(K), brokerage account, etc. Even though the rules of disclosures for a divorce are strict, some spouses will be inclined to hide essential documents like bank accounts or even prenuptial agreements. You can ensure that your important documentation is seen by making those copies prior to filing and providing them to your attorney right away.

When it comes to a first meeting with a divorce attorney, Salem, MA residents should remember to take these crucial steps to prepare. From there, your lawyer will work with your documents to ensure confidentiality and to work with your best interests in mind.

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