Divorce Trial Preparation Checklist

by AWR | Jul 31, 2019 10:07:17 AM

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Anyone who has ever litigated a divorce knows that these cases can end up in litigation for years. Even best-case scenario divorce trials will take a year or more to resolve. In some cases, they never end up resolved, with former spouses bringing new motions against each other. There needs to be some process in place for handling the volume of information that an attorney will need to rely on to successfully advocate for their client, and there needs to be a system of organization that allows them to easily refer back to the case and all of its elements.

We hope that this divorce trial preparation checklist will help your team stay organized. Contact AWR today to schedule a full range of litigation support services nationwide.

List of Assets & Liabilities

for Child Support, Alimony, and Property Division

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The first thing that every attorney needs to prepare for a divorce trial is a list of assets and liabilities of both their own client and the other spouse. This includes assets that may not be considered marital property. Collect the following records at a minimum:

  • Payment stubs
  • Bank statements
  • Deposit statements
  • Stock and investment portfolios
  • Retirement accounts
  • Tax returns
  • Real estate holdings
  • Valuation of personal property
  • Business yearlies
  • Papers related to safe deposit boxes
  • Overseas bank accounts

Liabilities include:

  • Credit card statements
  • Mortgage documents
  • Property tax statements
  • Loan documents
  • Monthly bills
  • Medical bills
  • Medical insurance
  • Insurance policies

Appraisals

The value of a personal item, business, or real estate may not necessarily be obvious to the stakeholders. In these cases, a diligent divorce attorney will require the expert valuation of an independent appraiser to valuate the property.

Witnesses, Testimony & Exhibits

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Some divorce cases have complex undertones related to custody, the ability of one spouse to work and care for the children, allegations of abuse, and the relative employability of each spouse in the marriage. Especially in cases that concern abuse and custody, a divorce attorney will want to ensure that they gather as much evidence as possible of the alleged abuse. This includes:

  • Police and incident reports
  • Testimony from witnesses to the abuse
  • Experts to testify on the emotional impact of the abuse

Issues Related to Custody & Visitation

In cases where custody becomes a serious issue in a divorce, the court will assume that having both parents in the children’s lives is preferable to cutting one parent off completely. In order to prevent that parent from seeing their child, a divorce attorney will have to show cause. Evidence can include:

  • Expert testimony of child psychologists
  • Testimony prepared by the children
  • Evidence of physical abuse in the home
  • Evidence of drug abuse or alcoholism
  • Police reports or criminal charges
  • Third-party witness statements

Child Support & Alimony

Child support and alimony are calculated based on the needs of one spouse and the ability to pay for the other. Evidence presented will include:

  • Income of both spouses
  • Costs related to childcare for the spouse who has primary custody
  • Costs related to the monthly maintenance of the household

AWR Helps Attorneys with Complex CasesAWR Group Photo

  1. William Roberts, Jr. & Associates (AWR) provides a full range of litigation support services to help your firm stay organized and improve the quality of your litigation. From E-Discovery and document management deposition transcriptions, legal video, court reporting and more, we are your dedicated partner. Contact us today to schedule services nationwide.

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