One of the surprising aspects to a divorce is the need to tell your attorney everything. It’s so important to hire an attorney you are comfortable with because you will be sharing with them some extremely personal information, not just financial but personal as well. Unless your attorney knows all the graphic details of your life, you can’t expect them to advocate successfully in court.
The two most important things in your life are your children and your finances. If you are going to trust your attorney with the future of both of these, you’re going to need to be upfront and honest. If you don’t, then the skeletons in your closet will come and bite you.
Here are four secrets that you have to tell your attorney:
We get it: bankruptcy makes people feel ashamed. However, bankruptcy can really do some damage when it comes to a divorce. The court may decide to stay the divorce proceeding until after the bankruptcy is complete.
Bankruptcy is a major life change and it can provide significant financial relief. However, it is a big deal no matter how much you desire to play it off. It’s important that your divorce attorney be in contact with your bankruptcy attorney so that both of these major life changes proceed smoothly and in a way that is beneficial for you. It’s all about the timing.
Many of our clients are very reluctant to discuss their issues with mental health or addiction. It’s embarrassing and they feel ashamed. What they fail to get is that we are here as their advocate -- we’re here to help. We can’t help unless we know all the facts.
Just because you’ve struggled in the past with a mental health diagnosis or a substance abuse issue doesn’t make you a bad person (or a bad parent!). The truth is that it’s going to be brought up in court and your attorney needs time to devise a plan to show the court that these issues are either being addressed or in the past. You want to paint a picture to the court of someone who is responsible and has things under control by getting the help they need.
Raising children is tough and you’re not superhuman. We all have those moments that we regret. Like the time you forgot to pick up your kid from daycare because you thought it was your wife’s turn to do it. Or, the time you got so mad at your hard-headed sixteen year old son that you got into a verbal argument that escalated to the point where you put your fist through a wall. We get it -- parenting is tough.
Your worst moment as a father doesn’t define you. But, you can bet that it will be brought up in court. If your attorney doesn’t know about it, they can’t provide an alternate picture to the court. By not telling your attorney, you are depriving your attorney of mounting an adequate defense.
Don’t be shocked if your divorce attorney starts asking some really personal questions. If you’re sleeping with your ex, it could lead to agreements being invalidated and your divorce dragging on for years. It’s problematic.
Anything that’s not plain vanilla sex could be an issue in court. So, if you have an open marriage, or you’re into polyamory, sex clubs, swinging, or anything else that’s kinky, you need to come clean. Georgia is a fault state and your sexual awakening could be twisted into an adultery claim in court. There is a big difference in fault vs. no-fault divorce, so make sure your attorney is aware of all your sexual proclivities that could be used against you.
Your attorney is being paid good money to fight for you and be your ally in court. It’s vital that you are upfront and honest with them, no matter how embarrassing or shameful you think something is. Bottom line: there are just some secrets that you have to tell your attorney.
If you need help with a divorce, Family Matters Law Group is here to help. For many years, we’ve been an ally to clients in Henry, Clayton, and Fayette counties, as well as across the Atlanta metro area. To set up an initial consultation, simply use our online contact form or call us. We’re ready to hear your story and fight hard for your children and your assets!