You likely approached the process of hiring a divorce attorney with a list of questions in mind to ask at your consultation. Questions such as: how do they charge, how long does the average divorce take, or will you have to appear in court?
Once you have chosen a lawyer to represent you, the next step is to ensure they have the proper information to adequately handle your case. By understanding what you should tell your divorce attorney you will help to lay a strong foundation for your case.
Although it may be tempting to leave out sensitive information such as the fact that you are having an affair or that your marriage is abusive, your attorney needs to know all of the relevant facts in order to do their job. If you withhold information and your attorney is caught unaware by the opposing side, your case could suffer.
A helpful tool, with regard to the pertinent facts, is to provide a written history of your marriage, starting from how you met your spouse and moving through all the major events of the marriage. This chronological list should include the date of your marriage, names and ages of your children, education and work history, reason for the divorce, and an accounting of major assets that you own together as well as separately.
What You Shouldn’t Say to Your Divorce Attorney
Attorney/client privilege should reassure you when considering what you should tell your attorney, even if you feel embarrassed or ashamed of certain facts. On the other hand, what you shouldn’t tell your attorney may also be important to the facts of your case. Some thoughts are better kept to yourself, particularly those driven by the emotions of the moment.
A good example is stating that you don’t care what it costs, because your goal is to punish your spouse. An unscrupulous attorney can use your anger against you to inflate their fees. Also avoid insisting that you’ll never pay spousal or child support to your ex. Using revenge as your motivation can negatively affect more than your wallet; children and other family members are bound to get hurt in your quest.
The truth is the more you allow emotions to drive you, the longer it will take and the harder it will be on everyone involved. Never say never to any term until you have had time to think about it. Instead of making heat of the moment declarations, take time to consider your attorney’s recommendations.
What to Expect in Your Divorce Case
Splitting up is difficult in its own right and it’s common to experience fear not knowing what’s going to happen next. To help alleviate these concerns, we have created an overview of the steps involved in most divorces. Hiring an attorney that will walk you through the proceedings is another step toward taking the unknown out of divorce.
At Buncher Family Law, an Orange County family law firm, we are committed to assisting clients with all aspects of the often difficult process of divorce and child custody. We will walk with you every step of the way.