First, you should be ready. It takes time to be truly ready to take that step of ending a marriage. But to the extent you’ve ironed out any misgivings about it before you come to your attorney, the better and more efficient the attorney will be. YOU’RE ATTORNEY CAN’T HELP YOU MAKE UP YOUR MIND TO END YOUR MARRIAGE. THAT’S YOUR DECISION 100%.
Second, it really helps if you know where your spouse is and can arrange to get him or her served the divorce papers.
Third, It really helps if you know your spouse’s social security number. And if you have children, it helps if you know their social security numbers too.
Fourth, it helps if you have proof of certain allegations if you are alleging cruel and inhuman treatment, or adultery, (witnesses, police reports, confessions, photographs, things like that.)
Fifth, it helps, if you are seeking an uncontested divorce, that you’ve already spoken with your spouse and he or she wants the divorce too, otherwise its not an uncontested divorce.
Sixth, it helps if you have certain papers gathered together like 3 years tax returns, last 3 paystubs, past court orders (like child support, visitation, order of protection. If you own assets like cash, property, stocks, etc. it is fantastic if you have at least the last statement. You get extra points if you have extra copies and can leave one with the attorney for your file.
Seventh, your points index will be off the charts if you know the date of your marriage (or can put your hands on the marriage certificate).
Eighth, you’ll get high marks if either you or your husband/wife is a resident of New York at the time you are seeking the divorce.
Ninth, it helps if you were not the one who did the things you are accusing your spouse of doing (for example if you are trying to get a divorce due to abandonment, but you are the one who left and your spouse does not want the divorce, this is a problem. If you’re saying your spouse abused you and he/she has police reports and photos showing that, in fact, you were the abuser, this won’t get you very high marks with your attorney because now you don’t really have grounds to get a divorce.)
Tenth, it helps if you are the reasonable one in the situation and you really want to reach a resolution to the case. If you are the litigious one who hates your spouse and wants your pound of flesh, well, that’s fine, but you won’t get high marks and good reviews for this because it can cost you a lot of money to litigate a divorce and by then, you will start to hate your attorney for all those bills she will send you every six weeks, and this is bad. So be the reasonable one.