Kessler on the Initial Consultation
What do I need to bring to my initial consultation?
We suggest that you bring the documents listed below to the initial consultation. With your permission, we can make extra copies of these documents at the initial consultation. Do not worry if you are unable to gather these documents prior to the meeting. You can always send copies to us at a later date. Remember, you should always keep the originals in a safe place and bring them to court if a hearing is needed.
1. For the last three years:
• tax returns: State & Federal Returns for as many years as you have including Personal, Corporate, Partnerships/Joint Ventures, Estimated Tax and Intangible Property
• And any other evidence of income for you and/or your spouse Such as employment contracts and any other documents showing evidence of wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, expense accounts and any other benefits even if not used, as long as they are available through employment. Also bring any documentation of anticipated raises or bonuses.
2. Copies of any stock certificates or bonds.
3. Copies of recent statements for stock accounts and/or retirement/pension plans (such as IRA and 401-K accounts).
4. Copies of any notes you have signed or co-signed to any individuals, savings and loans, banks, credit companies, or other lending institutions.
5. Copies of any other personal debts or notes signed to anyone (including family members).
6. Copies of all credit card statements for the past year.
7. Copies of any financial statements prepared by you and/or your spouse in the past three years.
8. Any loan applications for the last three years (More if you have them).
9. Photos/tapes/videos/albums/correspondence that substantiate claims that you may put forward (i.e. family violence, adultery).
10. Any other photographs, DVDs or videos that you feel might be important.
11. Any recent budgets that may include your income, monthly expenses, or list of your assets/debts.
12. Copies of recent bank statements showing the balances of these accounts (savings, checking, money market accounts, certificates of deposit and all similar accounts).
13. List of any items, furniture, tools, vehicles or equipment you want that is worth more than $1,000.00 in value and any related paperwork such as car titles.
14. Copies of any promissory notes, security deeds, and settlement statements concerning real estate purchased or sold by you and/or your spouse during your marriage.
15. Copies of real estate warranty deeds or quitclaim deeds to the property you or the other party own whether solely owned, jointly owned, or owned with others.
16. A completed Financial Affidavit.
17. A completed Client Intake Sheet.
18. Any other document or piece of evidence you think might be valuable, whether it concerns the finances or conduct of either party.
We encourage you to also prepare a list of what assets and/or debts you contend are yours or your spouse's separate property (due to inheritance, a gift, or ownership prior to the marriage). Additionally, as you prepare for the meeting, it is often helpful to create a list of any questions you may want to ask, and your short term and long term goals on all issues including custody, visitation, and finances.
Also, please see our fees and consultation page regarding the cost of the initial consultation.
DO NOT BRING ANY ILLEGAL ITEM TO A CONSULTATION SUCH AS ILLEGAL DRUGS OR DRUG RELATED ITEMS, EVEN IF YOU BELIEVE IT WILL HELP YOUR CASE. WE WILL DISCUSS THIS WITH YOU PRIVATELY ONCE WE ARE RETAINED.