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Best Documents to Bring to Your Family Law Consultation

June 18, 2015

Regardless of the number of assets involved or the length of the marriage, divorces are often marked by paperwork — and lots of it. Even after the divorce is finalized, the paperwork can continue, depending on the legal issues at hand.

One of the biggest sources of paperwork stems from something called a Request for Order. A Request for Order is one party's request to the court asking for any number of things: legal and physical custody of children, child support, visitation, or spousal support. Sometimes, there is a request for certain debts or the family mortgage to be paid by one person, or someone might be requesting the exclusive use and possession of the family residence. A Request for Order can be used to do any of the following:

  • Ask for temporary child support or custody when you first file your divorce case

  • Ask for support, custody, or visitation orders in an existing case

  • Ask for a change to your current court orders

If your former spouse files a Request for Order with the court, you will get served with a notice of the request. You may disagree with the details of the request, in which case it is important that you seek the assistance of a divorce attorney. Your attorney can sit down with you for a consultation and review the details of the Request for Order, thus developing a strategy to achieve an outcome in your favor.

How Should I Prepare for The Meeting With My Attorney?

To ensure the success of your case, you must do your part in being prepared to meet with your attorney. A large part of this lies in bringing necessary, and revealing, documents that can strengthen your argument in court. The more information your attorney has, the better they will be able to represent you.

Some of the most critical pieces of information to bring with you include:

  • Tax returns for the last few years

  • Current salary information, reflected by your paystubs

  • Proof of efforts to obtain a job, if you are currently out of work

  • A diary of how custody and visitation has been handled in the last six months

  • School records of the children if there are issues about their performance

  • A history of how the parties and children have resided in the family residence

The court likes to see physical evidence and these documents can verify the truthfulness of your statements. If the Request for Order is regarding child support, you don't want to be left paying more than is fair or over what you can afford. Similarly, if your ex-spouse is notoriously difficult when it comes to custody and visitation, a diary reflecting their behavior can prevent them from pulling the wool over the court's eyes.

Likewise, in the absence of domestic violence, it is unlikely that one person would be given exclusive use of the family residence if both parties are residing there.

At the end of the day, our firm is here to protect your best interests no matter what. We want to help you reach a resolution you are comfortable with and are on your side until that happens. Your first consultation is just a phone call away, to get in touch with us today to speak with our Pasadena divorce lawyer!