It may be really hard to face some of things you might have done during your marriage that would shed a less than positive light on your character. But if you’re considering divorce and are about to speak to an attorney, that’s exactly what you have to do.
So, what information should you be sharing and what should you withhold?
Share everything and withhold nothing. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
If you’ve had an affair. If you have been secreting money away from your spouse. If you haven’t been having marital relations. If you haven’t been depositing your pay check into your joint accounts. Everything. You should not be hiding any relevant facts from an attorney you are considering hiring or from the attorney who ultimately represents you.
Yes, I know that a lot of this information may be very personal.
Yes, I know that some of this information may paint you in a negative light.
Yes, I know that if it ever gets out, some of this information will have major negative consequences for you.
But you can be reassured by this:
The attorney is a professional and he or she has attorney-client privilege with you. Therefore, he or she is ethically bound not to disclose any of this information to any third party (i.e. to anybody else).
Most importantly – if the attorney is good at his/her job, he or she will be able to make sure that if the information ever needs to come out, it will be in a way that will be less damaging to you.
He or she may even use this information to determine which court (secular family court or religious court) to have litigation in (if required) and to develop and even change his/her legal strategy.
There is nothing more damaging to a divorce case than when an attorney gets blindsided by the other side because his or her client elected not to provide the whole truth. As I tell my clients – from the perspective of their legal case – not telling the whole truth is just like telling a lie. Don’t lie to your attorney. It can only hurt you.
Your attorney will protect that information. And if you decide that you are not going to get divorced after all, it will be up to you and you alone, to decide if you want to share this information with your spouse.