Divorce Documents – What to Bring to Your First Meeting

What to Bring to a Meeting With a Divorce AttorneyAt your first meeting, it is helpful for you to come prepared with copies of documents and records required by the court. Collecting these documents at the start helps speed up the process and makes the document collection process easier.  Also, documents that are readily available before the divorce may be difficult and expensive to obtain after the divorce process begins.

To the extent applicable, we will need the following records and documents:

Personal Records

We will need the following personal records to prove the existence of the marriage, children of the marriage, and citizenship to determine the authority of the court over the parties to grant a divorce:

  • Birth certificates
  • Social Security cards
  • Immigration and naturalization documents
  • Prenuptial agreements, separation agreements, and other agreements between you and your current spouse
  • Court decrees and judgments in proceedings with a prior spouse
  • Death certificate of a previous deceased spouse

These following documents and records may also be helpful during the divorce process:

  • Photographs, movies, videotapes, and audio recordings of you, your spouse, and your children, and
  • Letters, cards, notes, and emails written by or to you, your spouse, and your children.

Property Records and Financial Documents

Property records and financial documents contain information about you and your spouse’s income, savings, assets, debts, and expenses that are important in determining the division of marital property, child support, and alimony:

  • Federal, state and local income tax returns for the last three to five years
  • Payroll statements, pay stubs, and bonus records
  • Checking and savings account records
  • Real estate deeds, contracts or leases
  • Documents about pension or retirement plans, annuities, and IRAs
  • Insurance policies, including life, health, automobile, and homeowners
  • Mortgages, loans, credit card statements, and other records of debt
  • Household expense records for items such as food, rent, utilities, clothing, household goods, repairs, education, vacations, entertainment, and other expenses

Business records

If you or your spouse own a business, you should collect and bring to us copies of the following documents and records:

  • Federal, state, and local income tax returns for the business
  • Deeds, mortgages, leases, and other real estate interests held by the business
  • Financial statements and balance sheets
  • Profit and loss statements
  • Corporate records and minute books (including articles of incorporation and bylaws)
  • Partnership agreements
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Business credit card statements and records
  • Insurance policies for the business
  • Contracts

If you cannot obtain some of these documents, make a detailed list describing the documents, including document titles, dates, and what each document is about.

Blackstone Professional Center
8122 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46217
Phone: 317.786.2225
Fax: 317.786.5263

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