By Kenneth V. Mundy, Florida Family Law Attorney
Divorce is a tough and confusing time for all parties involved. Your divorce counsel is there to assist with the entire divorce process, provide support, engage in settlement negotiations, encourage a balanced outcome, and provide representation at trial if an amicable resolution cannot be reached. If you are seeking a Naples divorce attorney, choosing one knowledgeable and experienced in Florida family law is critical to obtaining a favorable result. This article discusses specific tasks to complete before speaking to your prospective divorce counsel.
Bring All Your Questions About the Process
There are three types of questions that you should put together before contacting your divorce lawyer. Preparing these different types of questions will help you obtain a more well-rounded view of the general process after discussing them with your attorney. The first type consists of questions about the overall divorce process, such as how the timeline will go, how to prepare mentally and emotionally, what information your attorney will need from you, and how many people will be working on your case in the office.
The second type of question concerns how communication will work with your attorney and how your case will be managed. For example, these questions include the best way to convey information to them and their staff, what approach will be employed when determining a strategy for your specific situation, among others.
The third type of question should address the precise facts that apply to your marriage, known as situational questions. For example, asking if your Florida divorce is one that warrants an alimony award or if the former marital residence will need to be sold, are just a couple of illustrations.
Consider Bringing Pay Stubs
Your attorney will need to know how much money both you and your spouse earn to get a better understanding of the financial aspect of your divorce. Pay stubs are the easiest way to accomplish this because they can make accurate estimates on how much money may be awarded for either alimony or child support if such issues are in dispute. Therefore, we recommend that you provide the pay stubs from the last three (3) months and any other necessary paperwork to answer any questions regarding how much each spouse brought into the household on a monthly basis.
If You Have Tax Returns, Bring Them
Supplying your attorney with tax returns from prior years is an alternative to having three months of pay stubs. Tax returns are more comprehensive and more detailed, as compared to paystubs, because they provide a clearer picture of yearly income and the financial situations of both parties. If you need to obtain a copy of your tax return, you may do so online from the IRS website.
Bring Prenuptial Agreements and Other Documents Related to Your Marriage
If you entered a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with your spouse, you should most certainly bring this document to your first meeting with your divorce attorney. These agreements are especially critical in giving detailed timelines and outlining the final expectations for all parties.
Domestic Violence Issues
If there are issues or a history of domestic violence in your marriage, it will be helpful to bring evidence of that violence, including photographs of injuries, police reports, photographs of the damage to vehicles and/or the house, and any petitions for domestic violence that may have been filed. Once again, a timeline of events is always helpful.
Child Custody Issues
Child custody disputes are unequivocally the toughest and most emotional during divorce litigation. Communications between you and your spouse about the children and timesharing will quickly illustrate these challenges. Shelter your children from the divorce as much as possible. Remember, the children did not ask for this, so limiting their exposure to your divorce as much as possible is the right thing to do.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you are looking for a Naples divorce attorney, Woodward Pires & Lombardo, P.A. focuses heavily on family law-related issues and has decades of experience supporting people through these devastating situations. In addition to emotional support, we know the best practices for all parts of the process, such as valuation, expert witnesses, tax implications, evidence, and discovery. As a result, our clients deem us as one of the best family law firms in Naples, Florida because we prioritize protecting our clients’ assets, financial rights, and familial concerns throughout each step of the Florida legal process.
About the Author
Kenneth V. Mundy is a family law attorney with the law firm of Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. He graduated summa cum laude from Ave Maria School of Law in 2016. Originally from New Jersey, Ken moved to Naples, Florida with his family in 1997 and continues to happily reside here with his wife, Taylor. Ken is a Certified Financial Litigator specializing in family and marital law, including but not limited to, complex divorces, child timesharing disputes, child support and alimony issues, relocation, paternity actions and domestic violence proceedings. Ken is also very involved in the community as he is on the Board of Directors for Meals of Hope and the Naples Junior Chamber, both of which are not-for-profit entities. For more information, call (239) 649-6555 or see www.wpl-legal.com.
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