The title of this blog really should be “why you should tell your family law attorney everything, before he finds out from opposing counsel or in front of a judge in the middle of a trial”, but we thought that would be too long a title to fit nicely in the heading. Sounds crazy, but you would be amazed at how often it happens, and how bad it can be for someone’s case.
In this blog, we will discuss giving as much information about the facts and circumstances relevant to your case to your attorney as possible. Like all of our blogs, this is intended to provide information only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.
Why should I disclose everything to my family law attorney?
Family law usually involves the ending of a close personal relationship. It is usually a spouse who has known you for years and has often lived with you. That person is usually spending a large amount of time telling their attorney about every bad thing you ever did, or thought about doing. They do this with the intent of it being used against you later. To protect yourself, your attorney should have any information that can be used against right away, in order to advise you on how it can be worked around.
Further, you enjoy attorney client confidentiality, so you can trust your attorney to keep things private. Clients do a great job at telling us everything about the opposing party that can be even partially be seen as negative, (a lot of those things never even become relevant), but they tend to do a bad job of disclosing bad facts about themselves.
How surprises have a negative impact on a trial in family court
When a family law case does not end amicably or through a consent order, a trial becomes necessary. During a trial, both parties have the opportunity to testify and that is when information comes that the judge uses to make his or her decision.
In a child custody trial, for example, the parties often talk about the concerns that they have about the other parent and why they may think that the other parent is unfit. This can include information about past behavior, drug use, criminal behavior, domestic violence, and several other items. If your attorney knows about these things from the beginning, they will be more prepared to explain them than if your attorney is blindsided by this information.
The judge wants to do what is in the best interest of the child, and if your attorney can show some sort of plan of action for any negative items, it would go a long way towards helping you.
Do yourself a favor and give your family law attorney every relevant piece of information he or she may need to help you, and answer all of his or her questions honestly.
If you are in need of a family law attorney, contact us. We handle family law cases in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas.