Family law is the most personal and emotional area of law for the litigants. Family law issues penetrate your finances, your time with your children, and even your home. It is sometimes difficult for divorcing spouses to be completely open and honest with their divorce attorneys from the onset of the case. This is understandable considering that the client probably spent hours during the initial consultation and retaining process being probed with very personal questions by a stranger. It is imperative to resist the urge to hold back information from your attorney during the beginning of your case. Especially if your case is contentious, all of your “dirty secrets” will be revealed in time and your attorney needs to be prepared to defend you.
Divorce attorneys hear shocking confessions each day and do not sit judging you for your past mistakes. In addition, a confidential relationship exists between attorneys and their clients ensuring that all of the client’s secrets remain private. However, it is much better to divulge all of the information that may be used against you privately to your attorney rather than be questioned about it in open court. Family law attorneys are trained to defuse negative or difficult facts in your case, but your attorney cannot do that if he or she does not know all of the pertinent information.
It is helpful to consider the following questions during the initial phase of your divorce case:
1. What is the worst thing your spouse might present to the court about you, even if this is not true?
2. Are there any friends or family members that would be willing to testify against you?
3. Have you been convicted of a crime?
4. Do you have any mental or physical health issues?
5. Have you previously been represented by another lawyer in your divorce case?
6. Have you had past involvement with a child protection agency such as child welfare services?
7. Do you have any other children that are not a result of your current marriage? If so, are you supporting those children? If so, are you caring for those children?
8. Do you have a history of substance abuse?
In addition to considering the above questions, also feel free to tell your attorney any information which might be uniquely important to your individual case.
Please contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding child custody and visitation. Nancy J. Bickford is the only attorney in San Diego County representing clients in divorces, who is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) and who is actively licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.