A productive attorney-client relationship depends on a healthy exchange of information. In a divorce case, a client can help this process by asking the right questions and making certain your attorney has all the information he or she needs to handle the case. One effective way ensuring both attorney and client are on the same involves compiling a checklist of issues to discuss with your divorce attorney. The following list provides important topics to be discussed with a divorce attorney.
The parties’ income will always factor heavily in how divorce litigation will proceed in the context of the level of support and maintenance and division of debts and assets. As such it is important to discuss both parties.’
- Current income
- Earning history
- Professional experience
- Any businesses started before or during the marriage
Assets and Debts
In addition to determining levels of support or maintenance litigating how to divide a couple’s assets and debts fairly can consume a significant portion of the time spent on a divorce case. Particularly, it is important to discuss:
- What current assets and debts the couple hold
- If any assets or debts were brought into the marriage.
- Whether the parties have any retirement accounts
- If the couple has children, is there an education savings account
- Does the couple own real estate? Is there equity?
Given the fact that when a divorcing couple has children, the process can become particularly contentious it is important to make sure all information regarding children and prospects for their future are discussed. The following list represents some of the relevant topics to raise about children in the divorce process.
- The child’s educational status,
- Any special needs,
- Extracurricular activities,
- The child’s relationship with each parent?
- Any future college plans
- Have the parents committed to paying for a college education?
- Does the child have any disabilities or other medical conditions?
- Does the child have a juvenile delinquency history?
- The level of parental involvement in decision making regarding the child.
- Does either parent plan to move out of state?
Timing and Involvement
Depending on their complexity and how many contested issues are involved it is important to discuss how long a case may take to resolve and the amount of involvement in the litigation required of the parties.
- How long will the case take to resolve?
- Will the case require extensive discovery?
- Will the case require a significant amount of court appearances?
As a case progresses, additional issues may arise that require discussion. However, the list presents basic issues that can arise during a divorce case.