In every family law case inevitably there are issues surrounding disclosure. Not having full and complete disclosure is like trying to complete a puzzle without all of the pieces. Your lawyer will ask you for a variety of documents throughout your matter. It’s in your interest to make your best efforts to produce these documents so that your lawyer does not have to follow-up with you unnecessarily and incur further charges. In addition, it will likely assist in moving your matter along more expeditiously.
Some documents and information that your lawyer is likely to request from you are:
- A relationship “timetable” – when you married and the events that led up to the decision to divorce
- When you or your spouse served divorce papers (if applicable)
- Information on your children including a summary of your current parenting arrangements and a list of any additional expenditure relating to your child or children, for example, dental treatment, orthotics, private school fees, music lessons etc.
- Information on former marriages and divorces (if applicable)
- Key issues of the divorce – your custody concerns, complex property issues, business ownership issues, etc.
- A copy of your marriage certificates
- Copies of your income tax returns and notices of assessment from the last three years
- A copy of your most recent pay stub
- A copy of any relevant contracts like a prenuptial agreement
- Dates and information on any separations, reconciliation attempts, or marriage counseling
- Education and employment information
- Household income information
- Banking information, including saving and checking account information
- Investment information
- Pension information
- Real estate holding information
- Information on any valuable household items, such as jewelry, antiques, artwork, etc.
- Information on all debts
- Note any concerns such as drug/alcohol abuse, if either party every committed a crime, domestic abuse, or sexual misconduct.
You should know that your lawyer will likely charge you for making copies or compiling these documents together. Therefore, if possible make copies yourself and bring the documents in chronological order to save on these costs. Above all make sure your lawyer has all the ‘pieces’ to help you make the puzzle.