Family Justice

Gathering Information

Gathering Information for the Preparation of a Family Law Complaint

When it comes to family law cases, thorough preparation is key to presenting a strong and compelling case. One crucial aspect of this preparation is gathering all the necessary information to support your claims and build a solid foundation for your complaint. In this article, we will explore the importance of gathering information in the context of family law cases and provide valuable insights on how to effectively gather and organize the information needed for the preparation of a complaint.

Understanding the Purpose of Gathering Information

Gathering information serves several vital purposes in the preparation of a family law complaint. These include:

  1. Establishing Grounds for the Complaint: In family law cases, the complaint outlines the legal basis for seeking relief from the court. By gathering relevant information, you can establish the necessary grounds to support your claims. Whether you are filing for divorce, child custody, spousal support, or any other family law matter, the information you gather will help substantiate your case.
  2. Building a Strong Case: The strength of your case relies on the evidence and information you present. By gathering comprehensive and accurate information, you provide your attorney with the necessary resources to construct a solid legal argument. This includes gathering supporting documents, witness statements, financial records, and any other relevant information that bolsters your position.
  3. Ensuring Compliance with Legal Requirements: Family law cases involve specific legal requirements and procedures. By gathering the required information, you can ensure that you meet all the legal prerequisites for filing a complaint. This includes identifying the appropriate jurisdiction, adhering to filing deadlines, and complying with any specific documentation or disclosure requirements.

Essential Information to Gather

To effectively prepare a family law complaint, it is important to gather specific types of information. While the exact information needed will vary depending on the nature of your case, here are some common categories to consider:

1. Personal and Family Information

Collect personal and family information that pertains to the individuals involved in the case. This includes:

  • Full legal names of all parties
  • Contact information (address, phone number, email)
  • Dates of birth
  • Social security numbers
  • Marriage date (if applicable)
  • Children’s names and dates of birth

2. Documentation of Marital/Partnership Assets and Liabilities

For cases involving property division, gather documents related to marital or partnership assets and liabilities. This may include:

  • Real estate documents (deeds, mortgages, property appraisals)
  • Bank statements and account information
  • Retirement account statements
  • Investment account statements
  • Tax returns and income documents
  • Business ownership documents
  • Debt records (credit card statements, loan documents)

3. Child-Related Information

If your case involves child custody, support, or visitation, gather information pertaining to the children involved:

  • School records (attendance, performance)
  • Medical records and healthcare information
  • Childcare expenses
  • Extracurricular activities and associated costs
  • Parenting schedules and visitation history

4. Communication and Documentation

Keep a record of all communication and relevant documentation related to your case. This can include:

  • Emails, text messages, and other written communication
  • Voicemail records
  • Any formal agreements or contracts
  • Police reports or documentation of incidents (if applicable)
  • Documentation of any previous court proceedings related to the case

5. Witnesses and Testimonials

Identify potential witnesses who may have information relevant to your case. This can include family members, friends, professionals (such as therapists or counselors), or any individuals who have observed or can testify to specific events or circumstances.

Organizing and Managing the Gathered Information

As you gather information, it is essential to organize and manage it effectively. Consider the following tips:

  1. Create a System: Establish a systematic approach to organizing your information. This can involve using folders, labels, or digital tools to categorize and store documents in a logical and accessible manner.
  2. Maintain a Timeline: Keep a timeline of important events and milestones in your case. This will help you track the sequence of events and ensure that you have a clear understanding of the timeline during the preparation of your complaint.
  3. Consult with Your Attorney: Regularly consult with your attorney to ensure that you are gathering the necessary information and to seek guidance on any specific documentation or evidence that may be required for your case.
  4. Backup and Security: Consider making digital copies or backups of important documents to ensure their security. Store physical copies in a safe and secure location.


Gathering information is a critical step in the preparation of a family law complaint. By collecting relevant and comprehensive information, you lay the foundation for building a strong case and presenting your claims effectively. Remember to gather personal and family information, documentation of assets and liabilities, child-related information, communication records, and potential witness testimonials. Organize and manage the information systematically to ensure easy access and maintain a timeline of events. Consulting with your attorney throughout the process will provide valuable guidance and help ensure that you are on the right track in preparing your family law complaint. With careful and thorough information gathering, you can enhance your chances of a successful outcome in your family law case.