Be Honest With Your Family Law Attorney!
Divorce Attorney Orange County, California
At the onset of any divorce it is incredibly important for clients to remember that their lives are now under the microscope of the court. Whether it be a late-night argument at a bar with witnesses, or a social media blast about your soon-to-be ex-spouse, your attorney needs to be privy to it.
It may be difficult for anyone to be totally forthright, especially about potentially embarrassing details about your life. Maybe you regret some of your decision-making, or maybe you’ve said (or sent) some unkind words. But it is ultimately necessary for your counsel to know these details in order to best represent you inside and outside of the courtroom.
During a divorce, you especially want to be on your best behavior for the best interest of your children. They are most important! Also, it is critical that you are presented in the best light in court. Of course, it can be difficult to “keep face” with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse under all circumstances. Divorces are riddled with emotions and sometimes they may get the best of us.
In those instances where you do accidentally let your emotions get the best of you it is important to let your attorney know. You don’t want them to be surprised by a threatening letter from opposing counsel. Or, on a more serious note, at a hearing in front of a judge. It is also important for you to inform your attorney if anything should arise from the Opposing Party’s side. If your spouse says or does anything that you feel maybe you should tell your attorney – tell them. This includes harassing or threatening messages or emails.
So where do you draw the line on what to tell your attorney and what not to tell your attorney? When it comes to a divorce matter, you should notify your attorney of anything that could possibly be related to your case – such as a custody or visitation issue with your minor children – which may be addressed with the court. An example of this would be if your spouse schedules a vacation with your children during your pre-determined custody time.
You should also tell your attorney if any other pending legal matters arise during the course of your dissolution matter. For instance, if you or your spouse happens to be arrested for a DUI during the course of your divorce, you would want to be sure that your attorney knows about it. Is there a substance abuse concern? Be honest! Let your attorney help guide you in dealing with it.
Another important issue to be addressed with your attorney is if either party has made changes to their finances – such as emptying out any bank accounts – or removal of you or your children from an insurance policy. Both of those circumstances are examples of violations of the Automatic Restraining Orders that are put in place at the onset of filing every divorce.
There are certainly other circumstances in the realm of family law where your attorney should stay well-informed. Domestic Violence cases are a situation where your attorney should know all, including the difficult or embarrassing circumstances surrounding your situation. During the course of a Domestic Violence case, it is important that no matter what side of the situation you are on that you keep your attorney up to date on anything relating to communications with the opposing party.
If you were to file a Request for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order against your significant other, but then go out to dinner with them after filing the documents with the court (it happens!), this is something that you would need to tell your attorney as it could certainly affect the outcome of your case in front of a Judge. Domestic Violence cases are taken very seriously in the Family Law Courts, so it is important to not hold back any information about your case. Keeping your attorney informed helps protect you, no matter how painful or embarrassing it is to re-live the circumstances.
Making a decision to hire an attorney to help you navigate the legal system can be a beneficial one. That being said, it is equally as important to be honest and forthright with your attorney, as it will not only help your case but it will also help you establish and maintain credibility with the Court. If you are facing divorce, finding a qualified attorney is key to helping you navigate the process.