Tip: Save Time and Money in Your Minnesota Divorce by Getting All Information to Your Attorney

Blue Question Mark ManWant to save money in getting a divorce or in any other family law matter?  One of the best ways is to simply follow-though and provide your attorney with the information that he or she needs to draft the pleadings or settlement documents.

Divorces require a lot of information upfront and even more information to prepare a settlement offer. Aside from the usual dates of birth, names, date of marriage and social security numbers you must be able to marshal all asset information and all debt or liability information as well.

Your attorney will have to be able to put his or her hands on the details of the assets like account numbers and VIN for autos and legal descriptions and financial accounts with current balances including retirements and pensions to serve your legal interests.   The sooner you can marshal the information and data, then the sooner your counsel can draft and move your case forward. If you can contribute by obtaining the necessary information, then you can save yourself legal fees because your counsel won’t have to keep reminding you via letter or e-mail.   An attorney can generate lots of letters asking for information from financial institutions or issuing subpoenas.  Collaborate with your counsel in all ways that you can and you will save funds. Organizing the materials is helpful as well.  If you can identify your information/documents and sort into labeled file folders, then your counsel doesn’t have to search for the information in stack of documents. Time spent sorting is money!

What to Do

  • Listen to your attorney and identify what he or she needs from you
  • Gather up all the documents and information that your attorney asked for from you
  • Organize the documents and information into file folders
  • Label the file folders – such as:  Homestead-mortgage, legal description, property tax statement
  • Follow-though on whatever your attorney asks for as promptly and completely as you are able

What Not to Do

  • Send in information in a piecemeal fashion without any reference to what the document or information that it represents
  • Provide information that is more than a year old; such as, your retirement statement from 2006 unless you are specifically asked for that information as a means to prove up a non-marital claim
  • Copy your legal description by hand and e-mail it; only the complete legal from the County Recorder will do
  • Tell your attorney to get the information from the other party- think dollar signs here
  • Just don’t respond and then ask why the divorce is taking so long
  • Respond weeks or months after your attorney has requested the information and demand results in 24 hours or less
  • Refuse to provide information that your attorney requested; for example, you don’t want your spouse’s business, and you don’t want the business income or the business listed in the settlement; your attorney is an officer of the Court and both parties are under a duty to disclose all financial information to one another and to the Court.  If your attorney needs the information, then provide it.  He or she needs it for a reason.

If you are simply unable to get certain documents or information, then let your attorney know. There is a process in every legal action called discovery that allows your attorney to ask the other party for information.  It’s costly and most attorneys will ask the other party to give over missing information informally before resorting to the discovery process.

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Thanks for reading. 

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Father’s Rights, Mother’s Rights,  Family Lawyer,  Family Court Lawyer and Mediator Coach

Call me at (320) 492-3606  or e-mail me.      www. katewillmorelaw.com

Copyright 2015



About Kate Willmore, Esq.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, divorce, custody and family attorney brings over 25 years experience to every client's legal matter. *** Licensed in Minnesota and in California

One Response to “Tip: Save Time and Money in Your Minnesota Divorce by Getting All Information to Your Attorney”

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