When meeting with Margaret, or any other attorney in an initial consultation, the client can save valuable time and expense by being prepared for the meeting. If there has been previous litigation or police reports or orders, please bring those documents with you.

A complete list of all assets and liabilities is helpful in the first meeting in a dissolution, legal separation, or prenuptial consultation. If the parties have signed community property agreements, separate property agreements, wills, powers of attorney, or similar documents, please bring copies with you.

If you or your spouse or children have unique medical or psychological issues, bring any written reports or data you may have available.

Before a court will consider temporary financial orders, the court rules require the parties to submit tax returns for the last two years, six months’ worth of pay stubs, bank statements, checkbook registers, canceled checks, credit card statements, and other financial information. It is beneficial if the client can gather the necessary information early on in the process.

Any time the Court rules on a request for financial relief, attorney fees, maintenance, or other expenses, the rules require each party to submit a financial declaration. Margaret can email you a blank form before your meeting, so you can be prepared.

Documents relating to real estate purchases and refinancing are often extremely helpful in initial consultations. Insurance information, including life insurance policies, homeowner’s policies, and health insurance benefits are helpful.

Documentation of inheritances, business records including tax returns, profit and loss statements, stock awards, options, and similar data is advantageous if available for the initial /early meetings as well.