First, if custody , possession, conservatorship is an issue then you should prepare for court by taking detailed notes regarding the circumstances of the other conservator, including the reasons why you believe it is in the child’s best interest to reside with you. You should also think of witnesses who may be helpful in communicating your perspective to the court.
If there will be a contested issue related to child support or spousal maintenance it will be useful for the client to gather all income and financial records of both parties. When calculating child support or spousal maintenance, the court will want to review recent pay check stubs, income tax statements and profit and loss statements if available. The court will also expect each party to prepare a financial information statement that details the monthly income and expenses of each party.
If there will be a divorce with property issues it will be useful for your attorney to review bank account statements, retirement statements, real estate documents, stock portfolios, mutual funds, credit cards, partnership or corporation documents and any other financial document that you can get your hands on. If you or your spouse is likely to make a claim that an asset is separate property, you should attempt to locate the documents, if possible, that reflect the date that the asset was first acquired by you or your spouse. (For example: deed contracts on real property or probate documents related to an inheritance).
Remember that during a divorce many spouses attempt to hide assets, incur new debt or spend community funds without the other party’s knowledge. If you are contemplating divorce you should be aware that your spouse may pondering divorce as well. You should protect yourself by taking steps to ensure that you are aware of any changes in your financial situation.
If you are attempting to modify or enforce a prior order you should bring your prior order so that your attorney has a chance to review the order. If you wish to enforce a prior order be prepared to show specifically the date, time, and circumstance where the opposing party failed to abide by the prior order. If you are seeking to modify a prior order be prepared to discuss the circumstances as the existed at the time of the original order and how those circumstances have changed since the order was rendered.