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What must I do prior to meeting with an attorney or discussing divorce with my spouse?

Prior to discussing divorce with anyone, there area certain considerations that should be thought about. Where do you want to live?....Do you want to remain in the house that you are presently residing in?... Where will the children reside?... Do we have assets and do I know about all of them?... Do we have debt and do I know about all of it?... Is there life insurance?... Do I know what my spouse earns?... Do I know what my expenses are?

These are just some of the questions that you should ask yourself before you move forward with a divorce. By having the answers to these questions, you consultation with your attorney will be more productive and prior to broaching the subject with your spouse, you may want to investigate the facts because after, relevant information may be harder to find.

Take time to organize your paper work. This will be a good start to the discovery process and will be a big help during your consultation with an attorney.

- Find bank statements, credit card statements, investment account statements, retirement account statements and make copies or at least copy down institutions and account numbers. If you can't make copies of everything since this is very time consuming and expensive, at least make a copy of the most current statements.

- Find the deed to your residence, the mortgage documents, any Home Equity Loan documents.

- Find car loan or lease documents. Find your and/or your spouse's employment contracts.

- Find bills for the utilities of the house if they are not included on the bank statements.

Even though documents will need to be produced during the discovery process of your divorce, having a grasp of the assets, expenses and liabilities prior to having a "divorce conversation" will be beneficial. Additionally, having organized the financial documents will assist both of you in the process and perhaps promote a less adversarial process.

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