When a couple decides to divorce, they begin what is often an emotionally charged and complex process. To help simplify this process for both the divorcing couple and their lawyer, many law firms use a divorce intake form. This form helps to gather all of the necessary information about the divorce in one place.
A divorce intake form is an excellent tool to implement as part of the client onboarding process, as it will help gather all the necessary information before you even meet up with a client. This can give you a head start on the situation, allowing you to assess whether or not you and your client are a good fit, and you will be able to live up to their expectations.
There are many benefits to having a divorce intake form. First is that it can help to speed up the process of getting a divorce. If all of the necessary information is already gathered in one place, it can save time during the divorce proceedings. Additionally, a divorce intake form can help to ensure that all of the relevant information is considered when making decisions about the divorce. This can help to make sure that the final outcome of the divorce is fair for everyone involved.
To help you draft a comprehensive intake form, we will go over some of the main elements you'll want to cover.
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Essential Elements to Include in Your Divorce Intake Form
Depending on your specific firm needs, the questions you include in your intake form will vary. However, the following essential elements will give you a strong guideline so you can make sure no important information is overlooked. Here's what you should cover.
Client's and Spouse's Information
To begin your divorce intake form, gather the client's full name, Social Security Number and basic contact details including phone number, email address, as well as billing/physical address. Additionally, you can establish a preferred form of communication and inquire about any referral information. You will need this information for both your client and their spouse.
The client's current situation includes living arrangements, children (ask for name, date of birth, gender, and SSN), child support details, debts and expenses. Find out if the opposing party currently has an attorney and whether any of them have been married before as well as both parties' employment status (employer information, address, length of employment, and gross annual or monthly salary).
Marriage and Separation Details
Gather some insights into the client's marriage situation and reasons for divorce. This includes the date and place where the marriage took place, date of separation (if applicable), religious preferences, and any shared financial or real estate assets or retirement accounts.
To dig a bit deeper into any underlying drivers for the divorce, ask a few questions regarding any marital difficulties involving drugs, alcohol, financial disputes, infidelity, sexual disappointment, etc.
In order to better understand your client's expectations and specific needs, include a set of questions to ask what brought them to you (if there's a specific reason why they chose you instead of another divorce attorney), as well as any other methods for resolution they may have tried before.
Since a divorce typically involves a lot of compromise and negotiation, it's important that you understand the specific outcomes your client is expecting regarding custody, ownership of the marital home, or other important aspects to your client.
Create Perfect Client Intake Forms Using Bonsai
With Bonsai's custom form builder you can quickly create professional intake forms that you can print or share with your clients directly online via email or URL link. If you want to streamline your onboarding process and boost lead generation you can also have the intake form embedded into your business website.
You can customize every aspect of our user-friendly forms by rearranging fields, adding as many questions as you need, choosing your preferred answer format, and even adding your own branding elements. Get yours today with a 14-day free trial, and while you're at it, check out Bonsai's excellent administrative tools to help you grow your business.