January is the coldest month of the year, and, apparently, the “cold air” extends beyond the temperature. January has been reported as the most popular time of the year to file for divorce.

After finding the right attorney for you, it’s time to start preparing for your first meeting. Here are four important steps to take before that all-important initial visit.


  • Bring the right paperwork. At Hillyard, Anderson, & Olsen, it is helpful if you have the following paperwork available:


    1. Last two years of tax returns;
    2. Last three months of bank statements;
    3. A recent pay stub for both parties if possible; and
    4. If you own a home, a copy of the most recent appraisal.

If you don’t have access to financial information at this time, don’t stress– we can help you obtain this during the discovery process.


  • Bring a list of questions. This meeting is a chance for you to voice your most pressing concerns. Questions about divorce often asked at initial meetings include: Can I receive temporary child support? How do we set up a child custody agreement? We are here to help you understand the process as much as we can.
  • Prepare a wish list. Brainstorm a wish list of what you want from this divorce. Write it down and let your attorney know. This is the type of information that is useful to your lawyer in understanding your goals.
  • Don’t stress. Going through a divorce can cause an immense amount of emotional pain. It is our job to know what to do and which questions to ask you in order to get the process started. We are here to help guide you through this already tough moment in your life.


As hard as it may be in this difficult time, taking these four steps now can help reduce the stress and pain during your divorce.