When you got married, you probably never imagined that the future held nasty arguments, damaged relationships, marital stressors and, eventually, making an appointment with a divorce attorney. If we imagined that, no one would ever say “I do.”
But life happens. Now you’ve hired an attorney to help you wade through the divorce process. And, you’re probably wondering how much you need to tell your attorney – what secrets should you share? – in order to make it through the divorce with the least amount of embarrassment or fear.
Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s time to open up.
First, regardless of what “secret” you’re harboring, chances are, your divorce attorney has already heard it or something similar. The attorneys at Ford • Conlon • Gerberding • Grier — The Running Wise Law Firm have heard just about everything. No matter what you tell us, we won’t be surprised. And, heck, some of us may have a similar secret!
Second, regardless of how well hidden you think your secret may be, chances are it’s going to come out in the divorce. Your spouse will share your secrets with his or her lawyer. And, even if your spouse doesn’t know your secret, if anything seems amiss, chances are the lawyer will hire a private investigator who is smarter at uncovering secrets than you are at hiding them. Trust us, it is better for you to tell us the secret than it is for the other side to allude to it or, worse yet, surprise us with it.
Third, Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. Divorces are granted, regardless of who is at fault. Fault MAY come into play if it impacts child custody and parenting time. In severe (yes, think the worst here) cases of fault, it is possible that it will come into play in the division of marital assets. Even then, though, it usually plays a small part.
Fourth, it’s important for us to get to know you. We need to understand who you are and the dynamics of the marriage. Only then can we understand your motivation, your spouse’s motivation and what sort of resolution might be acceptable to you both. And, knowing your secret will help us do that.
Finally, your attorney is bound by the attorney-client privilege. Translation: they can’t ever share your secret without your consent. Period. There are laws against it and rules against it. No lawyer is going to risk losing their law license by sharing your secret.
Divorce is a difficult process. Your lawyer needs to know who you are to guide you through the process and make decisions that could potentially impact you for years to come.