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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 11-18-2005, 07:00 PM
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Default Lawyer/Client Confidentiality

Hello. I have a question regarding lawyer/client confidentiality. Is a lawyer automatically required/obligated to report info. he has been given from a client whereby the client has done something wrong.

I am in the process of filing for divorce, and am worried that I have basically 'screwed' myself (for lack of a better word).

I feel that I should be totally upfront with my lawyer, but am worried there may be consequences. Would the lawyer be obligated to report me? or is anything I tell him kept strictly confidential (between him and I).

Without going into alot of detail, the last few years I filed my tax forms, I said that I was separated so that I could collect child tax benefits that came each month. (I actually needed the $$$, but I know that is beside the point.)

Now I don't know what to do. I would like to file for divorce, and hopefully get alimony and child support, because my spouse's income is three times what mine is. However, I have absolutely no idea what to do at this point. Can I safely be honest with a lawyer?

Any advice would be so appreciated!

Thank you!
p.s. I cannot reply quickly, because I don't own a computer and am using the library's internet.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-18-2005, 07:27 PM
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A lot of family law cases revolve around facts and when the facts are disputed credibility of each party comes into the equation.

If you are seeking spousal support you will be required to file your last 3 income tax returns along with your financial statement. If issues are disputed, the other party could use this situation to benefit their cause.

Basically by claiming separated on your income tax when in fact you wern't is a form of fraud as it involves money. Your lawyer will find out as your lawyer will see your income tax returns. I think your best to come clean and be upfront with your lawyer. Information disclosed to your lawyer is subject to solicitor/client privledge.

It is most likely that the other party will bring this information up to discredit your character.

Honesty is the best policy.
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Old 11-20-2005, 09:46 AM
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Melissa, sorry to hear about your situation but live and learn. LogicalVelocity gave you excellent advice (as he always seems to do!). There are some things that could potentially compel an attorney to tell someone, but those are likely only the most extreme and life-threatining circumstances. I think you can feel pretty comfortable explaining things to your lawyer. In order to get the best representation possible it the best idea to be totally honest with him. Remember you are not in a criminal court, you are going to Family court, and you and your lawyers likely have goals and objectives. Allow him to do his job, but provide him with all the necessary information.
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