Your first consultation with a divorce attorney can be intimidating, but there are a few simple tasks you can do to prepare for that meeting to make it as productive as possible:

1. Gather financial information and other pertinent documents.

If you have access to financial documents, it is helpful to bring these documents with you to the initial consultation. Relevant documents include credit card statements, bank statements, loan statements, stocks, tax returns, paystubs, mortgage statements, etc. The more information you provide the divorce attorney, the better the attorney will be able to advise you on the particulars of your situation.

2. Determine values

A huge part of any divorce is determining what you own, what you owe, your income and your expenses. These are all things that you can do before your initial consultation with a divorce attorney. Sit down and look at what your income is every month and how you spend that income. Additionally, make lists of what you own and what your spouse and you own together.

3. Bring a list of questions

Divorce is an overwhelming process, and it is hard to cover everything in the timeframe of a one-hour consult. To make your initial consultation as efficient as possible, organize your thoughts ahead of time by creating a list of questions or concerns that you would like to have addressed.

4. Create a private email address.

Establishing a private email address is very important to ensure communication between you and your attorney remains confidential. This means you do not want to use an employment email address to which your employer has access. This also means double-checking to make sure your personal email account is private and that your spouse does not have the password to same.

Every consult is different based on the client’s situation and needs, but these simple steps can help maximize the benefit you receive from your first consultation with a divorce attorney.