During your initial meeting, you will want to provide your attorney with enough information that they will be able to provide you with an assessment of your case. The specific areas below are areas that you will discuss with your attorney and you should bring with you as much of this information as possible.
- Fault/No Fault Grounds- Virginia still has fault grounds for divorce including adultery, abandonment, cruelty, and abuse. Even if you intend to move forward with no fault grounds, you should inform your attorney if you believe that your spouse has committed one of the fault grounds for divorce – Any evidence you have which supports your belief that your spouse has committed one of these acts.
- Equitable Distribution- In a divorce all of the marital property will be subject to division. Your attorney will need the following information – List of all assets acquired from the date of the marriage to the date of separation and a copy of the latest statements; List all debts including mortgages, credit cards and loans; Information about any real estate owned including deed, title, mortgage payment, mortgage payoff, down payments, etc.; and Statements from any banking, retirement, and 401k accounts.
- Child Support- If you have children, child support will need to be calculated and the guidelines require certain information – Amounts of income from all sources including businesses or rental income; Your most recent tax returns, pay stubs, W-2, 1099s, etc.; Any information regarding unemployment, underemployment or employment efforts; Evidence of prior income and employment; Information regarding any diagnosis of the children or any special needs or abilities of the children; Costs of work-related childcare for the children and Costs of healthcare for the children.
- Spousal Support/Alimony – In addition to the income information above, your attorney will need additional information from spousal support – An itemized list of all monthly household expenses should be provided; and Prepare a budget of your expenses and your children’s expenses.
- General information for both parties – Full name, addresses and telephone numbers; Names, addresses and telephone numbers of employers; Dates and places of birth; Social security numbers, drivers license numbers; Health insurance information including policy, number and costs; Date and place (city/county/state) of marriage; Last residence/marital home that the parties lived in together; and Date of separation.
- Information for any children – Full names, Dates and places of birth and Social security numbers.
- Any agreements between the parties regarding separation, distribution of property, custody, parenting time/visitation
- Any prior court hearings, orders, pleadings or correspondence relating to the current case or any prior determinations regarding property, support, custody, visitation, etc.