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What should I be ready to discuss with my divorce attorney?

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Divorce is never easy. Even an uncontested divorce in Illinois can become contested if a glitch develops in the negotiations over the myriad issues that must be addressed. There are obvious matters that any person considering divorce should plan to talk about with an attorney.

Will someone get the house or will it be sold and the proceeds split? What about cars, if one still has an outstanding loan pending, who will pay it and how? Parents will want to be sure that they have ironed out details of child support and custody issues, too. Beyond that, taking account assets and debts can become a challenge. It doesn't take much for divorce go from simple to complex.

The issues are broad

The existence of a vacation home, whether it's in Illinois or another state, is an example of an asset that might tip a case toward the high-asset realm. The makeup of a couple's retirement plan might become a source of dispute. If either party to the marriage has accumulated stock options over the course of their careers, it becomes fair to ask how they should be considered for division.

Because of the scope of possible assets and debts to consider, the list of just the legal documents that should be available for a consultation with your attorney can be massive. Included on that would be:

  • Any personal or business tax returns for the previous three to five years
  • Statements of current income for both spouses
  • Current bank statements
  • Records related to investments such as certificates of deposit
  • Retirement account statements, including any possible pension funding
  • Records of stock holdings
  • Statements of outstanding loans of any kind
  • Any and all insurance policies and the beneficiaries

That's already a long list, but it's only a snippet of what deserves to be on a potential consultation checklist.

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