When parties are going through the separation process, whether being addressed in the courts or not, typically clients will be requested to bring certain records to the attorney to review so they may properly analyze the case. Depending on the claims pending, this can often result in a significant amount of documents to provide. The time to review and process the records can be costly to the client, so here are some tips to consider to save your attorney time and keep costs down for the client:
- Ask your attorney if they prefer you to scan/email or put on a disk the documents they are requesting. Some attorneys prefer electronic copies. If you do this, be sure to label the files clearly as to what the record is by indicating type of document, date of document and who it pertains to. Use subfolders when possible (i.e. credit card folder, bank statement folder, etc.) If you attorney prefers paper, ask them how many copies they will need. Organize them in a similar manner as far as subfolders and be sure that you copy ALL Sides of the document (this applies to scanning too.) Bringing a box (or bag) of unorganized documents to your attorney’s office will cost you a significant amount of money to just organize the records without any substantive analysis even having taken place.
- DO NOT WRITE ON THE DOCUMENTS YOU PROVIDE TO THE ATTORNEY. If you wish to make notes, make one copy WITH NOTES and one without. Your attorney will have to provide copies of these documents to opposing counsel/party more often than not, so it can take a significant amount of time to remove client comments from the only set of records the attorney may have.
- Provide the documents your attorney asks. Do not bring every financial record you have. It takes a significant amount of time to sort out records that the attorney needs and does not need. This is not an efficient way to evaluate the client’s case.
- Also, avoid bringing original documents to your attorney unless there is an issue of fraud in your case concerning the document. This alleviates any risk of titles to vehicles getting lost or that sort of thing.
- Provide any documents requested by your attorney by the deadline they give. Time is very important in divorce cases; the longer you wait to comply with a request may mean the less time the attorney has to prepare for an event in your case.
- If you have questions about the document requests – don’t be afraid to ask. Our Raleigh family law attorneys and staff understand this is a stressful time for clients and gathering records can be a daunting task. It is often better to take the time to ask the question you have about a particular document than take a guess and then bring the wrong information. Your money will be better spent talking to the attorney or staff member about your question versus the time required to fix any miscommunication issues.
If you have additional questions regarding the document exchange process related to Raleigh divorces, or those in other counties we serve, please contact our office to schedule an initial consultation with one of our attorneys.
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