Full Disclosure During A Divorce: Tell Your Attorney Everything
Divorces are common in the United States today, but going through a divorce for the first time can be daunting. Many people opt to hire an experienced divorce attorney to help ensure they receive a favorable outcome.
Your attorney will create a legal strategy that maximizes the odds of a favorable outcome in your divorce based on the information that you provide him or her. It's important that you tell your attorney everything as soon as you sign a retainer. Full disclosure is the only way your attorney can be fully prepared to represent your interests during a divorce.
What Should You Disclose?
Before you meet with your divorce attorney for the first time you should think about any information that he or she will need to help you minimize the damage your divorce causes. Some types of information that people might withhold from their attorney at first can include infidelity, financial dishonesty, the presence of abuse, or cases of child neglect.
Your attorney needs to know if either you or your spouse has engaged in these behaviors in order to provide you with adequate representation. You should also be forthcoming about any information you have posted on social media regarding your spouse or your divorce.
Why Is Full Disclosure Essential?
Because your attorney is relying on the information that you have presented to him or her to create a legal strategy for your divorce, failing to disclose everything could have disastrous results.
Your attorney may find him or herself in a situation where opposing counsel brings up infidelity, money problems, or other situations in court. Without the prior knowledge of these situations that you can provide, your attorney will be blindsided. Your case could be undermined by the new information that is revealed.
It's best to be completely honest with your attorney to ensure he or she can come up with a legal strategy that covers all contingencies.
What Happens to the Information Provided?
You should never feel embarrassed or worried about the information that you give to your divorce attorney. Once you sign a retainer, any information that you provide is protected under client confidentiality rules. This means that your attorney will not share the information with anyone outside his or her law firm services.
You can rest assured that the information you might consider withholding out of embarrassment or shame will never be revealed by your attorney without your explicit permission.