Information That Your Dallas Divorce Attorney Needs to Properly Assist You With Your Case
For anyone thinking seriously about filing for divorce, speaking with an experienced Dallas divorce attorney is one of the earliest steps in the process. Seeking legal representation early will allow you to make informed decisions as you begin your preparations, and it can help you avoid any mistakes that might otherwise have negative consequences for your divorce.
In order to get the most out of your first meeting with a divorce lawyer, you will want to come prepared. Here is a list of seven pieces of information it will be helpful to share with your attorney:
1. Why are You Seeking a Divorce?
There are a number of reasons why it will be important for your attorney to understand why you are considering a divorce. For example, some states – like Texas – still recognize both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce.
2. Have You Talked About Divorce with Your Spouse?
Most divorces are resolved through negotiations, mediation or the collaborative process. If you and your spouse are able to discuss your divorce amicably, this is a good sign that you will be able to come to terms without court involvement. But, it is also important to remember that a divorce is inherently an adversarial process, and there are certain pieces of information that you may want to avoid sharing with your spouse.
3. Has Either Party Moved Out of the Family Residence?
If you or your spouse has moved out of the family home, this could potentially impact a number of aspects of your divorce. It will also be important to know when you or your spouse moved, who is covering the family’s expenses, and whether you or your spouse moved in with someone else.
4. What Income Sources Are Available to You (Yours and Your Spouses)?
Your Dallas divorce attorney will need to have a general understanding of your personal income in order to assess which spouse (if either) is likely to owe alimony and child support after your divorce. Your attorney will also need to know your spouse’s income. If you do not have access to your spouse’s pay stubs, your bank account statements and tax returns will be good places to start.
5. Are There Non-Negotiable Assets You Want to Keep After Your Divorce?
As part of your divorce, you and your spouse will need to divide your jointly-owned assets. To begin preparing for this part of the process, you should make a list of your separately and jointly-owned asset and begin thinking about which jointly-owned items you would like to try to protect in your divorce.
6. Is There a Prenup in Place?
Did you and your spouse sign a premarital (or postmarital) agreement? If so, you should bring a copy of the agreement to your initial consultation. These agreements commonly address topics such as the method for pursuing a divorce (i.e. mediation or the collaborative process), alimony obligations, and the distribution of jointly-owned assets (commonly referred to as “marital property” or “community property”), and the terms of your agreement may govern over the standard rules that would otherwise apply.
Speak to Our Dallas Divorce Attorney Today
If you have questions about what information an attorney needs to have in preparation for your meeting, contact our office as soon as possible.