As you know, lawyers love to get their hands on documents, papers, and court records of all kinds! The attorneys at Melissa Graham-Hurd & Associates, LLC, find documents can be very helpful tools from which to understand your situation. In so many cases, a person’s rights are determined by prior court documents more so than by the general Ohio and federal laws. Therefore, it is very important that you bring all the papers you have that are related to the situation that brings you to our office.

If you have questions about a domestic relations matter, meaning something that falls under the umbrella of “family law,” you should gather the following documents together and bring them in for the first appointment:


  • Any premarital/prenuptial agreements;
  • Any previous decrees of legal separation, divorce, or dissolution;
  • Any court orders for child support or parenting time (visitation);
  • Any court orders concerning parenting rights (custody);
  • Any documents related to the parentage of your children, if that has not been established by marriage or by the courts for never-married couples, including documents from the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA);
  • Letters or administrative orders from the CSEA regarding child and spousal support (alimony) that is ongoing or in arrears;
  • A recent child or spousal support payment history printed from the CSEA online portal ( or retrieved from the CSEA office;
  • Federal, state and local tax returns, including W-2’s and Form 1099’s, for the last three years for you and your spouse/the other parent of your child(ren);
  • Current pay statements;
  • Deeds, mortgages and home equity documents for real estate;
  • Titles for all vehicles, motor homes, campers, trailers, ATVs, etc;
  • Year end and recent statements for retirement assets;
  • Current bank account/credit union statements;
  • Current credit card or other debt statements;
  • Your social security earnings statement – request one online at ;


If you have questions about a domestic violence situation, you should gather the following documents:

  • Copies of any protection orders in place, including the court order granting a TPO (Temporary Protection Order) or a CPO (Civil Protection Order), as well as any petitions or ex-parte orders filed previously;
  • Police reports filed by or against the opposing party;
  • Evidence in any form, especially pictures or text messages, related to the situation.