Tell Your Lawyer The Bad News First
When we first meet a new or prospective client, we want to sit and talk with them for at least an hour or so. During that meeting, especially in divorce cases, we want to get a feel for the entire situation -- not just the dollars and cents that need to be divided, but for how the marriage ended up where it is. We find that clients are quite willing to tell us the faults that they find in their spouse that led to the divorce. That is part of the story, of course, but it is not all.
We also need to know why our client's spouse wants a divorce. We need to know what our client's spouse is going to tell the other attorney are our client's weaknesses and places to attack. Typically, we will ask our client to tell us the worst thing that can truthfully be said about them. We also ask them what we can expect to hear from the other side, even if it is not true.
Most of the time, our clients own up to their faults and are honest with us. That is good. The absolute worst time for us to find out the weakness of a case is when our client is on the stand, being cross-examined. If the other side has compromising photos, for example, we don't want to see them for the first time in court. Telling us all the facts will help us provide you the best representation possible. Don't be embarrassed, because the odds are that we have heard similar stories before, and don't delay.