Divorce can be one of the most emotionally difficult steps any person might take. Unfortunately, divorce can also be a highly complex process involving the division of assets, debts, property, and decisions about child custody. If you are considering getting divorced, the best thing you can do is to schedule an initial consultation with Ballard Law, PLLC, a divorce attorney in Jackson, Mississippi. If you have made an appointment with Ballard Law, PLLC and are preparing for your initial consultation, you might be wondering what information you should bring to your first appointment with your divorce lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi.
Here is a checklist of items you should bring to your first meeting with your divorce lawyer:
- Copies of your tax returns. When it comes to making decisions about alimony, division of assets, and debts, how much money both you and your spouse make can make a difference on these decisions. Bring copies of you and your spouse’s tax returns to your initial consultation.
- Prenuptial agreement. If you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement in place, bring this to your initial meeting with your divorce attorney in Jackson, Mississippi. Your prenuptial agreement can have an impact on your ability to seek alimony, on division of property and assets, and on other decisions. Not all prenuptial agreements are enforceable under the law. Ballard Law, divorce attorneys in Jackson, Mississippi can review your prenuptial agreements, help you understand your rights, and guide you through the next steps.
- Bank Statements. Protect your financial life and get statements from your bank before you tell your spouse you plan to file for divorce. Bring these statements to your meeting with your divorce lawyer because they can help you attorney understand your financial situation and what steps might need to be taken when dividing assets.
- Debt Statements. Do you have a mortgage? Do you and your spouse have credit card debt? Do you owe car payments? Do you have student loan debt? Does your spouse have student loan debt? Some of these debts might be shared and some might be separate debts. The divorce lawyers at Ballard Law, PLLC in Jackson, Mississippi can review your debt statements and help you understand which debts are marital debts and which are separate. Some student loan debts taken out during the marriage might be considered separate debts or shared debts, depending on how the money was used.
- Retirement Account Information. Retirement accounts must be divided carefully during a divorce because they can bring certain tax burdens. Furthermore, if retirement accounts aren’t divided properly, you and your ex could face a hefty tax bill. Bring information about your retirement accounts to your initial meeting with Ballard Law, PLLC, divorce attorneys in Jackson, Mississippi. We can help you understand your rights and obligations when it comes to dividing retirement accounts.
- Stocks and Investments. Bring any information about stocks or investments you might have. This information also helps your lawyer paint a picture about your financial situation.
- Mortgage and Deeds. If you own property or have a mortgage, bring this information to your initial consultation with Ballard Law, PLLC, a divorce lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi. If you are getting divorced, you might have questions about what might happen to the family home. There are many ways you and your ex can handle the division of property, from selling the family home to refinancing the mortgage in only one party’s name. Ballard Law, PLLC are divorce lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi who can help you sort this out.
- Health Insurance Policies, Life Insurance Policies, and Medical Policies. Insurance you and your spouse share might also have a financial value and might be considered during your divorce.
- List of Personal Property that May Be of Value. If you and your spouse own any personal property that may be of value (cars, boats, second homes, jewelry, electronics) bring a list of these items and their estimated value.
- Medical Diagnoses. If your ex has a mental health condition or a medical diagnosis that could impact his or her ability to care for the children, this could impact your parenting plan. Bring any medical information you believe might be relevant. If you are concerned that your medical condition might be used against you when drafting a parenting plan, bring this information to your first meeting with Ballard Law, PLLC, divorce lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi.
- Criminal Records. If you had to get a restraining order against your ex, or if your ex has been charged with violence or child abuse, this could impact your parenting plan. Bring this information to your initial consultation with Ballard Law, PLLC.
- Any other information you think is important. Insulting emails from an ex? Proof that your ex is having an affair? Facebook posts that might be incriminating? Any additional information you have that you think might be relevant should be brought to your initial meeting with your divorce lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all the items you should bring to your initial consultation with your divorce lawyer. As Ballard Law, PLLC reviews your case, our firm may need additional information and documentation not listed here. Before telling your spouse you want a divorce, it is helpful to understand your rights, and what your divorce might look like going forward. Ballard Law, PLLC are divorce attorneys in Jackson, Mississippi who can guide you through this process to help you get the best possible settlement for you and your family.