How We’ll Work Together

Here’s an overview of how we’ll work together from the first meeting through resolution.  Each case is different, so this information is just a guide.  We’ll determine the best process to meet your needs:

Starting separation and divorce proceedings

What we’ll discuss at our first meeting:

  • Who will move out and where the kids will live
  • What you and your spouse and both of you have acquired during the marriage
  • How you will divide bills and personal property
  • Support issues
  • Realistic expectations
  • Your values and concerns

What you need to bring:
Date of marriage, date of separation (if any), address or whereabouts of spouse, recent tax returns, mortgage statement, pay stubs, account statements, etc.

Starting simple divorce proceedings

What we’ll discuss at our first meeting:

  • How divorce proceedings work
  • Whether there is property to be distributed between the parties
  • Whether support is an issue
  • Whether the wife wants to resume her former name

What you need to bring:

Date of marriage, date of separation, address or whereabouts of spouse

Obtaining child support

What we’ll discuss at our first meeting:

  • What the NC Child Support Guidelines are and what amount they recommend
  • Whether you should consider retroactive support
  • How we’ll get income documentation
  • Any unusual expenses

What you need to bring:

Pay stubs, tax returns, all evidence of income, health insurance “rate sheets”, daycare bills, costs of summer camp, before and after school care costs

Getting out of an abusive relationship

What we’ll discuss at our first meeting:

  • The safety risks and your need for immediate shelter and support
  • The needs of your children
  • How a domestic violence protection order can and cannot protect you

What you need to bring:

History of the abuse, proof of injuries, information on where the perpetrator lives and works, a list of places you want him/her to avoid

Drafting a will and/or power of attorney

What we’ll discuss at our first meeting:

  • Your goals and who your beneficiaries are
  • Your personal bequests and your assets
  • Your first and second choices for power of attorney
  • Your health care power of attorney and right-to-die issues
  • The federal estate tax threshold (currently $5,000,000)

What you need to bring:

A list of personal bequests and assets going by beneficiary designation (like life insurance)

Dealing with probate

What we’ll discuss at our first meeting:

  • Whether the decedent had a will and if the executor is available
  • Whether this is a simple estate or one that requires full probate
  • Any spouse’s allowance
  • Outline of the process

What you need to bring:
Death certificate, funeral bill and, if available, will and contact information for executor

Judy Whisnant