Last Updated On: January 6, 2023

Should I Tell My Divorce Lawyer Everything? (And What Happens if You Don’t)

Divorce is never easy. It is fraught with emotion and extremely personal. And sometimes, there are things you may want to keep to yourself when going through the throes of divorce. But when you hire a divorce lawyer, you are hiring your staunchest legal advocate. If you keep information from that legal representative, it can hurt you in the end. Hiring a NYC divorce lawyer means that you are hiring someone that you must trust enough to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with.

Disclosure is Key

When you have a divorce lawyer representing your legal interests, it’s important to disclose any relevant information to ensure that he or she has the facts to represent you to the fullest. This often means sharing information that you may not be proud of. But having it out in the open enables your lawyer to proactively deal with it instead of reactively dealing with it.

These can be things that your spouse may bring up and have evidence of such as

● Physical abuse, mental abuse, or cruelty
● Sexual infidelity
● Drug or alcohol addiction
● Mental health diagnosis
● A prior criminal record
● Hidden assets

Keeping this kind of information from your divorce lawyer can set you up for problems when they invariably come to light and can keep your lawyer from being able to assist you strategically to your benefit.

Confidentiality and Your NYC Divorce Lawyer

Attorney-client privilege states that all communications between you and your lawyer are confidential. Your lawyer cannot divulge anything you have told him or her or share it with others. This is purposely meant to encourage a client to be open with their lawyer so he or she can effectively represent you.

Whenever you meet with your lawyer, you should be able to feel confident that whatever you say will go no further, even if what you tell your attorney is not something you are particularly proud of. It’s better to get in front of that information than behind it.

divorce lawyer in New York City

Hiding Assets Will Often Work Against You in the End

It is human not to want to lose assets in a divorce, especially if it is acrimonious. But hiding assets is never a good idea and your spouse’s lawyer has many ways of tracking down assets through forensic accountants and deposing others to testify. This not only works to your disadvantage in the eyes of the court but it ends up costing you more in attorney’s fees in defending your case.

When Damaging Information Comes Out

Damaging information has a way of coming out. If it does later along in the case or at trial, you have given your lawyer no opportunity to prepare a defense and represent you. Keeping information from your lawyer is counterproductive and a bad idea. Your lawyer will have had experience dealing with most issues and will know how to frame them to lessen the severity for you.

Important Matters You Should Discuss With Your Manhattan Divorce Attorney

When meeting with a divorce attorney, it is possible that you may not know what to say or where to start. You may wonder what your responsibilities should be or what to expect during your consultation. This is a normal reaction given that getting a divorce can be a very nerve-wracking experience. 

There are important issues that you need to discuss with your lawyer when working on your divorce case. These issues include the following: 

  • How Much You and Your Spouse Make

New York divorce law, like all other states in the United States, requires that each spouse disclose their financial information. Both you and your spouse must bring records of all your assets, earnings, and other financial information. You could be subject to legal penalties if it is later discovered that you did not disclose all financial information during the process.

  • Your Children

Child custody will be a key part of the divorce proceedings if you have children with your spouse. It is important that your divorce lawyer knows the number of children you have, their names and ages, as well as your relationship with each of them. Your attorney should know details such as who is responsible for the day-to-day care of your children, how you participate in their daily lives, and the nature of your engagement.

  • Your Budget for Legal Costs

Although many feel uncomfortable having this conversation with their lawyer, it is important to be open about your budget from the start. Talk with your divorce attorney about how much you are willing to spend on your divorce and discuss whether that figure is realistic. Ask your lawyer for a breakdown of costs so that you can understand how you can work around the cost that will work for you.

  • Any Potential Legal Trouble

Your divorce case may be affected by certain criminal convictions or citations. If you are accused of domestic violence or a drug crime, it could severely impact any discussions regarding child custody and visitation. By letting your lawyer know about these legal issues, you can be more prepared for handling these kinds of questions when they come up.

  • The Compromises You are Willing to Make

Your lawyer will need to know what compromises you are and are not prepared to make in the dissolution of your marriage. Your attorney should know which issues are most important to you such as child custody and property division, and what issues are of less importance.

Our office is dedicated solely to the practice of domestic relations and family law. We endeavor to represent our clients with their best interests in mind. We provide sincere legal advice and zealous advocacy based on our experience representing men, women, and children in divorce, custody and visitation matters, family offense petitions, and other matters related to families.

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