Family attorneys fight hard for their clients, and they often have to help those clients navigate difficult situations. Perhaps you are divorcing your spouse, and you need help securing your financial future through alimony. Or maybe you are trying to adopt a child who has been the victim of abuse, and you need a lawyer to guide you through the legal process of gaining guardianship. A good family lawyer does not just help their clients navigate the law; they help their clients move forward into better life situations. We appreciate the work these attorneys do, and we have dedicated this blog to spread the word about their profession.
It's normal to feel embarrassed about a divorce's details, as it's a personal affair after all. Additionally, you may want to retain certain information like hidden assets from your spouse. However, keeping any critical details from your divorce lawyer will affect their ability to argue the case in your favor.
When sitting down with a divorce lawyer, you can feel confident knowing that your instructions are safe with them. The divorce attorney will only use the information to build a strong case and improve your winning odds. The following are the pieces of information your divorce lawyer needs to know.
Your divorce lawyer will need a comprehensive history of your marriage, starting from when and how you met your spouse. Disclose your education and work history, and the names and ages of your kids.
The attorney will also ask about any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. These agreements dictate how your income, debts, and property will be divided and make the proceedings more straightforward. It would also help if you listed any assets that are separately-owned.
If you're filing for a fault-based divorce, you'll also need to tell the divorce lawyer the reasons behind the split, like adultery or spousal abuse.
This is where things get trickier, as people are often reluctant to disclose any negative information. However, withholding issues like affairs or domestic abuse can hurt your case. For example, if you may fail to mention an affair, your attorney can be caught off guard during proceedings and not submit a solid defense. Remember that some attorneys hire investigators to look for damaging information, especially if there's a suspicion of an affair.
Disclose anything you've ever done that your spouse might bring up. Your divorce attorney will counter any low points brought up, which is why you should tell them any embarrassing moments. You should also relay any past or present infidelities, addictions, mental health diagnosis, and physical and mental abuse.
Don't Forget Hidden Assets
Your divorce lawyer will also need to know about any hidden assets. Don't hide money, debts, or property as they'll come out during the discovery process. Courts and attorneys use financial investigations, subpoenas, depositions, and other methods to reveal hidden debts and money stacked away in offshore bank accounts. Once you disclose such information to your divorce attorney, they'll have ample time to find a solution.
Divorce can affect the citizenship or immigration process of a spouse who wasn't born in the U.S. Tell your attorney if you're a conditional resident—that's if your status is dependent on your spouse.
Disclose the circumstances of your marriage with a non-citizen for the divorce lawyer to protect you. If you're an immigrant, the lawyer will advise you on the laws you can explore to keep your legal status. Contact a divorce lawyer for more information.