Your decision to end your marriage was a difficult one, made only more distressing by the search for a good divorce lawyer and daunting legal proceedings. In a battle of divorce, each person needs to be well-protected against hurtful accusations and lies, and this is where a divorce lawyer comes in. But before they can be sent into the courtroom to fight for you, they need to know everything about you. From your marriage to family to legal past, nothing is too personal when it comes to informing your divorce lawyer.
Your Criminal Record and Alleged Illegal Activity
As your only line of defense against whatever mud your spouse's lawyer may sling at you in court, your lawyer needs to be prepared to declare you innocent. This means you need to inform them of every major or minor legal infraction you've either committed or have been accused of. It all comes down to asking yourself, "What is the worst thing anyone could bring up from your past?" The answer should include everything from drug possessions and DUIs to accusations of abuse or adultery.
Dynamics of Your Relationship with Your Spouse and Children
If a couple acted in hurtful ways to one another, a divorce lawyer can use this as justification for a swift divorce. But they have never lived with you and seen the daily struggle to communicate, reason, and cooperate. So it's your obligation to paint a picture of a day in the life of your marriage, including arguments, sleeping and living arrangements, the effects on the children, and even plans for the family's future after the divorce. Consider questions such as
- What do you argue about on a regular basis?
- Do disagreements ever escalate to physical conflict?
- Who is seeking custody of the children?
- Does one spouse demand an alimony?
- Who is in a more stable financial situation?
These are all issues that must be addressed because even the best lawyer can't hope to guess what your married life has been like.
Your Mental Health status
Oftentimes, a significant other claims out of anger or desperation that their spouse is mentally unstable and unfit to receive custody of their children or manage their assets. If there is any chance that you might be suffering from depression, anger management issues, extreme stress, or any other mental conditions that will endanger the possibility of you receiving the most familial and financial benefits after the divorce, your lawyer needs time to get you evaluated by a physician to confirm your good health. But they can only do so if you are honest about your emotional state and ability to recover from the difficulties of divorce.
The Honest Reason for Divorce
This may be the most crucial tidbit of information that is often overlooked. It isn't enough to say "the marriage isn't working." If the specific reason for the marriage's dysfunction can be pinned onto you, and your lawyer is unaware, this will not bode well for you in court. If adultery, abuse, neglect, lies, or financial problems are involved, these need to be brought to the forefront of the divorce discussion. If something occurred that was severe enough to end a marriage, then it's almost guaranteed this event or reason will be brought up in court by the opposing lawyer, and your lawyer needs time to prepare a defense against it.
It might be challenging, and even emotional, to divulge so many facts and secrets to a paid professional, but trust that your divorce lawyer, one like Ivy Law Group PLLC, has your best interests in mind. They can't protect you if they don't know you, and it's your part of the bargain to be open and honest.