What does my Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Need to know about my life?
April 01, 2012
If you have chosen to be represented by a Rhode Island lawyer in your divorce proceeding, you need to get your brain pumping and shift it into gear.
Do not expect the lawyer to really know your life by telling him or her a few details. Disclosure needs to be 100%. Only YOU know your life well enough to inform your attorney of everything that he or she needs to know to represent you properly.
Many people think that a good lawyer who practices in divorce will ask all the necessary questions in order to represent you. This is a myth. A lawyer will try to do his or her best to ask about your marriage, your children, your life, your work, your assets, your debts, your relationship, etc...
Yet the truth of divorce is that even the smallest detail may have a substantial impact on your case. Or rather, a detail that you may consider to be "small" and you don't inform your divorce attorney about may make a huge difference not only in your case, but in the manner in which your divorce lawyer represents you.
As a RI Lawyer I focus my practice entirely in the area of divorce and family law with the vast majority of my cases are actual divorces. Yet with years of experience practicing in this one area I could list literally thousands of questions and still not ask a question just right to trigger your brain to give me everything you know that is important in your divorce.
The fact is that in any Rhode Island divorce it is a bad idea to simply hire a lawyer and then trust that your lawyer will discover everything. Therefore, to protect your own best interests and to help your attorney it is best to always keep in mind that while you know every detail about your life, your lawyer only knows what he is told.
I could give you a sampling of divorce questions that good attorneys would ask you, but it would be a meaningless exercise for the purposes of this article.
The point is this. Don't just hire a lawyer for your Rhode Island divorce and then turn your brain off and expect your lawyer to do a good job for you. Divorces are about information and facts. You are the one that has those in your head. Therefore, you can't afford to be a "deadhead" and leave your lawyer hanging without the information needed to protect your interests in all or even part of your divorce.
Without the correct factual information about your life, your lawyer is like an accountant who has to prepare your tax return but the accountant isn't given any information at all about you in order to prepare your return.
Ultimately, it's harder for your lawyer because everyone's lives are different and one fact may affect another fact in your case and change with the fluidity of water flowing over a waterfall. At least the accountant preparing your return has exact rules set forth in writing on paper by the IRS to rely upon and he or she has specific information that is needed for your return. Many things in domestic relations law are not exact.
RULE OF THUMB
Don't just hand over your life to a divorce lawyer and expect him or her to protect you. Prepare a summary of your life with your spouse, about your assets, about your children, about your debts, about your home, cars, student loans, education, friends, a girlfriend or boyfriend you may secretly have on the side, an affair you had two years ago, how much you make, whether you make money above or below the table, if you have your tax returns, who you work for, how long you have worked, whether your spouse works, any childcare you use, medical issues, mental health issues, costs of everything, flirting, websites, pornography, who pays costs in your home, medications anyone takes, counseling and counselors, cel phones, texting, sexting, email addresses, phone numbers, employment complaints, military record, pensions, disabilities or applications for disability, whether you are part of any businesses, criminal records, vehicle registrations, hidden monies, credit cards, fraud, lawsuits, computers, internet accounts, forgery, bank accounts, where you have lived, where you have worked, and so on.
The list is infinite.
You MUST kick your brain into gear and brainstorm anything and everything about your life at the moment you hire your attorney and during the course of your whole marriage.
You are your Rhode Island divorce lawyers best asset and your own best protector of your own interests whether you represent yourself or whether you are hiring a lawyer to protect your interests in a divorce.
What does your Rhode Island divorce lawyer need to know about your life? Answer: Everything.
All my Best to All Who Go Before the Rhode Island Family Court,
I am Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall and I am "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach."