How to Prepare for Initial Consultation with a California Divorce Attorney

How to Prepare for Initial Consultation with a California Divorce Attorney

When someone decides to get a divorce, in many instances, they will wind up speaking with an attorney to discuss their legal options and gain insight into the divorce process. If you plan to meet with a California divorce attorney for an initial consultation, you may wonder, “How do I properly prepare for the consultation?” You may be feeling somewhat overwhelmed and even intimidated at the prospect of sitting down with a lawyer. Do not fret. Castro Law Offices, P.C. is here to help. We want to make sure you get the most out of your initial consultation with a California divorce attorney, so here are some tips to help you prepare.

What You Should Bring to Your First Consultation

There are specific documents and pieces of information you should try to bring to your initial consultation with a California divorce attorney. Those documents include:  

  • Any questionnaires or pre-consultation info forms supplied by the attorney or their staff
  • Personal property tax returns filed in the State of California, or anywhere else, since the date of your marriage.
  • Monthly banking statements and other pertinent financial records such as financial agreements, loans, etc.
  • List of personal property owned prior to the marriage
  • List of personal property acquired during the course of the marriage by gift or inheritance.

The list above is not exhaustive. It is simply intended to get you started. Other documents and records may be needed at a later point in time, depending on your unique circumstances.

Personal Information

The information you need to be prepared to provide to your California divorce attorney is not confined to financial records and lists of personal property. You should also be prepared to provide information that is more personal in nature. For example, you should take the time to explain what happened, or is happening, to cause you to want to file for divorce. You should discuss whether you have kids and how you want to try and address issues related to custody, child support, spousal support, etc. In addition, you will need to provide your California divorce attorney with general personal information such as your full name, home address, the date you were married, the date you decided to separate from your spouse, etc.

Please be advised that even if you do not hire the attorney you meet with, the attorney-client privilege applies to the information you divulge to a lawyer during an initial consultation.

List of questions

Another important step in your preparation process is developing a list of questions you want to try and get answered by the California divorce lawyer. For example, you may be seeking answers to the following types of questions:

  • What are relevant provisions of California family law that will impact my divorce case?
  • How does property typically get divided in a California divorce?
  • What steps or actions do I need to take if I want full custody over the children?
  • How is spousal support calculated?
  • How long does it take for a divorce to get finalized in California?

Financial Statement and Tax returns

Along with general financial records and personal information, you should also try to bring specific financial statements and income tax returns to the initial consultation. Why? Because your California divorce lawyer can review the records you supply to help give you a clearer picture of what to expect from the divorce proceedings.

Summary of What You Want Out of Your Divorce

Finally, one of the most important action items you should try to complete prior to meeting with a California divorce attorney is summarizing any objectives you want to try and achieve. For example, do you want to keep or sell your home? Do you plan to remain in California or move to another state? Having a general outline of what you want to get out of the divorce process can be extremely helpful for your California divorce lawyer.

Hire a Divorce Attorney Today at Castro Law

If you are contemplating filing for divorce, or have begun the process, consider retaining a skilled Marin County divorce lawyer such as Jeremy Castro to help you during this difficult time. Jeremy Castro possesses the experience you need to handle an array of complex divorce matters. Contact his office today so Castro Law can go to work for you.

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