Are you lying to your own lawyer? Divorce may be one of the most serious and daunting challenges you have to face in your life. Intense pressure, discontent in the home, explanations to your children and anxiety about your future all pressure you. You will likely face legal disputes during your divorce, and while they may agitate or trouble you, or because of that, you should have an experienced divorce attorney to guide you. A reliable attorney, when given all appropriate and necessary information, can be your most valuable and stabilizing asset in this process. However, concealing information from your divorce attorney can lead to compromised results in the proceedings.
You may feel the need to conceal problems such as infidelity, financial mistakes, or the reasons for your divorce. You could even choose to hide the extent of your assets. This is never beneficial. The nature of the attorney/client relationship, much like that of doctor patient, is only as effective as the level of communication and trust between you and the professional. This person is your ally, NOT your enemy. This person is not only here to help you, you are paying them to do so. To lie to and withhold information from your attorney will only cheat yourself, as you will not only be denying yourself the most effective representation, you will also be seriously damaging your case.
At the cost of protecting yourself, you expose yourself to ineffective legal counsel, embarrassment in court, and loss of things most important to you. If your attorney does not have full knowledge of the situation, she cannot even begin to help you build a suitable settlement. These proceedings will expose your financial information and your character, and compromising either of these will damage your chances of favorable settlement. If any dishonesty comes to light in court, do not expect the judge to think highly of you. Consequences will follow such behavior, consequences that can influence property division, the award of sanctions and attorney’s fees and even custody of your child. Remember that your attorney can only protect you and help you if he is fully aware of the situation and able to counter challenges to your legitimacy as a parent or a legitimate recipient of assets. In divorce court as in life, honesty really is the best policy.