Going through a divorce can be an extremely difficult experience. After spending a significant amount of your life with someone – sharing a house, property, assets, maybe even children – separating from that person can be an emotionally overwhelming situation. However, the emotional impact is not the only difficult consequence of your divorce; you must also deal with the financial complications that arise. For most couples, that means hiring lawyers to deal with the division of assets.
While your attorneys will do the legal work for you, there are things that you can do to help the process along. Divorce lawyers can only work with the information they have, so it is important that you provide them with all the documents they need, starting with your initial consultation. Here are some steps to take in preparing for your initial consultation with your divorce attorney.
In Florida, assets are divided according to equitable division laws, which generally means that they will be divided equally; however, this is not always the case, as details about the marriage – or about either of the spouses individually – can impact how assets are divided. Therefore, it is important that all of the information about you and your spouse’s financial situation (past and present) is documented and provided to your attorney.
At your initial consultation, you should provide the lawyer with a list of all assets, debt, and income for both you and your spouse. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Tax returns from the past three years
- Credit card statements
- Investment information
- Retirement pension information
- List of properties, those co-owned by the couple and those owned independently by either spouse
Details about your marriage may greatly impact the outcome of your divorce case. For example, if infidelity occurred on the part of your spouse, this may indicate that he or she was not invested in the success of the marriage, which could lead to a more positive outcome for you. You will also want to provide employment, education, and criminal history (if applicable) for you and your spouse. These kinds of concerns are especially important if you and your spouse are in dispute over child custody. If you feel that your spouse should not be given primary care, you will need to provide documented evidence. We are knowledgeable about what the Court’s are looking for in terms of evidence that the Court will need to find in your favor.
You should also provide general information, such as contact forms for you, your spouse, and your children, including Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers. This basic information will save your lawyer time, allowing the process to move more quickly.
Beller & Bustamante, P.L., Experienced Divorce Attorneys
At Beller & Bustamante, P.L., we sympathize with individuals going through this difficult process, and we understand the myriad challenges you are facing. We can help by handling the legal issues surrounding your divorce while you focus on rebooting your life. To schedule a consultation with us, call (904) 288-4414 or send us an e-mail through our contact page.