When you schedule a consultation for a family law matter, you probably have a lot of questions to ask the lawyer. What you might not expect is that the lawyer will have a lot of questions to ask you as well.

If you are scheduling a consultation at The Commons, we will also ask you to bring a proof of your current income. This will help us determine whether you qualify for our sliding-scale fees. You can use the following documents to prove your income:

  • Your most recent tax return.
  • A letter explaining your government benefits.
  • Your four most recent paystubs.
  • Your W-2.

We will also ask you to bring or complete a New Client Intake Questionnaire, which we will provide to you before your consultation.

Bringing other documents to your consultation is not required, but it can be helpful. If you have the time, you can make things easier for the lawyer by bringing in particular documents that are relevant to your matter.

Things to share with the consultation lawyer:

  • Your most recent tax return.
  • Your four most recent paystubs.
  • Health insurance identification cards for you and your children.
  • Proof of your monthly health insurance and child care costs, such as invoices, bank statements, employer paperwork, and paystubs.
  • For divorce matters, a recent copy of your credit report, and your spouse’s credit report, if available to you (credit reports are available for free here).
  • For divorce matters, a list of property and things that you and your spouse own, recent bank statements and retirement savings account statements.
  • For divorce matters, any documents regarding appraisals or estimates of value of real property or other property owned by you or your spouse.
  • For divorce matters, the Kelley Blue Book private party value of your and your spouse’s vehicles, along with the car’s current mileage  (available here).
  • A statement of your Social Security account, if you have made any withdrawals.
  • Emails, text messages, and other written communications that you think help your case, particularly those with the other party.
  • Any communication that you have received about this case, including letters from the other party’s lawyer.
  • If there has been domestic violence perpetrated against you by the other party, any evidence you have about that domestic violence. This can include pictures of injuries, medical reports, abusive communications, and names of third parties who have witnessed abuse. Such evidence is not necessary to show there has been domestic violence, but it is helpful.

About the author 

Elise Hampton

Elise Hampton is a staff attorney at The Commons Law Center focused on Family Law, Asset Preservation, and Small Business Law.

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