Your case begins before the filing, before a consult, before you even contemplate filing for divorce. A case begins when a relationship starts, when a child is born, when you take a job, or buy a house. A case is born in the actions you take (what we call the facts of the case). We, as your family law advocate, rely on those facts, and those facts come from you. We rely on the truth, or what you tell us is the truth. We rely on you.
When a client tells us the truth, we can prepare a case, both offensively and defensively. We can develop a strategy to win. We can develop a defense to guard you every step of the way. However, should you choose to tell something less than the truth or leave pieces out, we, as your advocate, can be caught off guard. We cannot prepare for every possible outcome or argument. A lie can unravel a case. A lie can cost you your children or your 401k.
Often, clients are hesitant to tell the truth, the whole truth. Clients are scared of what we might think. They are scared that we might judge. However, we do not judge. We advocate. We leave the judging to the actual judge. It is important that you do not hold back when you lay out the facts of your case to us, be over inclusive rather than under inclusive.
I witnessed a case where the client failed to disclose everything, failed to turn over all the documents we needed, and the case fell apart at the seams. The truth did not set our client free. It painted the client into a corner, because we did not know the truth. However, had we known, had we been able to prepare, we could have set up the right strategy, called the right witnesses, submitted the right evidence or facts that would have set our client free so to speak. See, where a client sees a hole in the case and holds back, we can see light, we can see an answer. Where a client sees a negative, we can see a positive. Where a client sees bad, we can see good. The truth is not your enemy, it is you friend. So when you sit across from your attorney, your advocate, do not hold back, be over inclusive.
Let your family law attorney know the truth. For the truth shall set you free.