woman looing at her wedding ring

If there is no hope for reconciliation, you may have taken one of the first steps in initiating your divorce. This is done by scheduling a consultation with a divorce attorney. While this step can make the reality of your marriage ending feel all the more final, it is necessary to learn about the impending legal process. If a divorce is imminent, contact our adept Monmouth County Divorce & Separation Attorneys who can help you understand your options. Keep reading to learn what documents you should bring to your initial consultation with your divorce attorney. 

What paperwork should I provide my divorce attorney with during my initial consultation?

During your initial consultation with a divorce attorney, you should provide them with as much documentation as possible. This will provide your attorney with enough information for them to gain insight into how they can effectively represent your interests. Your attorney will need you to verify that you and your spouse are legally married. Therefore, you should bring a copy of your original marriage license and certificate. This will establish the length of the marriage and whether the court can grant you a divorce. It is critical to establish the duration of the marriage as in some cases spouses can claim their former partner’s benefits.  benefits. For instance, if a marriage lasts more than 10 years, spouses may be entitled to receive a portion of their former spouses’ Social Security benefits.

Additionally, you’ll want to present your attorney with any financial records such as tax returns and pay stubs that can prove income. In most divorces, one spouse will request that the other spouse provide them with financial support. This is to either care for the children or to help spouses maintain the same standard of living established during the marriage through child or spousal support. That said, providing your attorney with these documents will help them determine whether you are entitled to receive this type of court-ordered maintenance payment or obligated to pay it.

Furthermore, one of the most contentious issues couples face during a divorce is the division of assets. Understandably, tensions run high when discussing issues of property distribution as hard-earned assets are at stake. However, it is crucial to provide your attorney with any documents that can help them understand what assets are considered marital and separate property. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state which means marital assets are split daily between divorcing couples. This means that if the court finds it reasonable, they can award your spouse a larger share of marital assets. To ensure you reach a fair division of assets, you should examine what assets were accumulated during the marriage. It is also helpful to know what assets were accumulated outside the marriage to ensure they are not split with your former spouse since the separate property is not subject to equitable distribution.

If you are seeking a divorce and require quality legal counsel, contact the Monmouth County divorce & separation attorneys at Paone Zaleski & Murphy. With years of experience, you can rely on us to fight for the best outcome on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.