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Meeting with your Attorney: what NOT to do

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You can save a lot of money on attorney fees if you are organized and provide your divorce attorney with concise and complete information. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your meetings with your divorce attorney:

Do not ramble on about the nitty gritty details and long-winded stories about your soon to be ex.

Be prepared to discuss your marital problems with your divorce attorney but keep it concise and honest. The longer you talk about the lies, affairs and financial disagreements that ended your marriage, the longer your meeting will take and the more it will distract from the legal aspects and business transaction of your divorce proceedings. Talk to your mental health professional if you need a more emotional connection. Talk to your financial expert if you need assistance understanding the family finances and planning for your future. Do your best to simply state why, in your honest opinion, your marriage has come to an end.

  • Romantic infidelity?
  • Financial infidelity?
  • Financial Disagreements?
  • Life review?
  • No longer in Love?

Do not go in without a general idea of your current marital income, expenses, assets and liabilities Do your best to compile all of your Important Financial Documents that will help lay out your current financial situation. If you do not yet know what you need or understand your desired outcome; Collaborative Divorce Strategies can build a plan for your financial future and communicate the results with powerful analysis and reports. Some examples are:

  • Can you afford to keep the house, and do you even want it?
  • What will your lifestyle cost, and what does financial security mean to you?
  • What is the amount and length of spousal support needed?
  • Who will help pay for the children’s college education?
  • How can I be financially autonomous?
  • Can I purchase a new home?

Do not expect that your Attorney will get you “much more” than your share While your Attorney is certainly your advocate, they must operate under the guidelines of the family laws in your state. It is understandable that you may feel slighted, angry, vengeful and want to somehow be compensated for that. But in the eyes of the judge, unreasonable demands and requests could delay your case, costing you more emotional and financial resources. At the end of the day, this is a negotiated deal, and there will be some give and take. Perhaps mediating throughout the process can help you and your spouse be a little more “generous” on the things that are most important to you. If you do the work and know what you are entitled to, you will be prepared and eventually know what your desired outcome will be.

Here is what you should bring to your meetings with your Attorney:

  • Family information, including the names and birth dates for yourself, your spouse, and your children
  • The date and place where you were married
  • Current employment information for you and your spouse
  • An estimate of financial status including:
    • Income (current pay-stubs and last three years tax returns would be best)
    • Expenses (if you have a budget bring it, if not we can help you prepare one)
    • Assets and Debts (account statements for mortgage, 401K, brokerage accounts, bank accounts, credit cards)

Collaborative Divorce Strategies can help you identify where you can afford to negotiate, and where you can’t. Get in touch today for a complimentary consultation on your personal situation: jmcauliffecds@gmail.com