You may be thinking about the possibility of filing for a divorce, or perhaps your spouse has already filed for a divorce, and you have made an appointment to consult with a lawyer. Unless you have been through the divorce process previously, it is often hard to think about all the questions to ask in the initial consultation.

As a preliminary step, write down all of the topics you want to discuss with your attorney, including what your goals are for the outcome of the divorce. The sooner you clarify your goals, the easier it will be for your attorney to support you in helping you reach those goals. While your lawyer’s experience will be helpful in making sure nothing important is forgotten, here is a checklist of important items to cover in the initial consultation.

Procedural Process

Parenting time for Minor Children

Removal of Children From the State

Parenting Plan

Child Support

Deviation from Child Support Child Support Guidelines

Termination of Child Support

Travel Expenses to facilitate Parenting Time for Out of Town/State Parents

Life Insurance to Fund Unpaid Child Support

Automatic Withholding for Support

Payment of child support arrearages

Child Care Expenses

Child Care Credit

Health Insurance for Minor Children

Uninsured Medical Expenses for Minor Children

Payment of extracurricular activities for minor children

Private School Tuition for Children

College Expenses for Children

College Savings Accounts F/B/O Children

Health Insurance on the Parties

Real Property: Marital Residence

Real Property: Rentals, cabins, commercial property, etc.

Time Shares

Retirement Accounts

Federal or Military Pensions

Business Interests

Bank Accounts


Stock Options

Stock Purchase Plans

Life Insurance Policies

Frequent Flyer Miles

Credit Card Points

Season Tickets for Events

Premarital or Non-community Assets

Premarital or Non-community Debts


Personal Property Division: Including motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, campers, airplanes, collections, furniture, electronics, tools, household goods, etc.

Exchange Date for Personal Property

Division of Community Debt

Property Settlement

Spousal Support

Life Insurance to Fund Unpaid Spousal Support

Arrearage of Spousal Support from Temporary Order

Tax Exemptions for Minor Children

IRS Form 8332

Filing Status for Tax Returns for Last/Current Year

Former Name Restoration

Attorney Fees