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Why Your Honesty is Crucial in the Divorce Process

Divorce is an emotionally charged and painful process. Many see the dissolution of a marriage as a personal failing. A man or woman going through a divorce might reflexively hold back embarrassing details about certain issues that led to the breakup when speaking to anyone, including his or her attorney.

You may ask, should I tell my divorce lawyer everything? The reason is that what your attorney doesn’t know about the factors contributing to your marital breakup can hurt you. It can cost you money now and into the future and exact an emotional toll as your children grow up. Whether or not your spouse was honest with you, you need to be honest with your attorney.

The attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks encourage you to be fully open and honest when speaking with our compassionate Raleigh divorce lawyers. We are here to help you, not judge you. Having the complete facts can help us represent you more effectively. We are bound by professional ethics to keep confidential the information shared by clients.

There is a multitude of issues that may arise between a divorcing couple. We need to know about all the contributing factors if we are to protect your interests as you go through separation and divorce.

If your spouse’s attorney has damaging information about issues or incidents, you should expect that the opposing side will use it against you and may irreparably damage your case if your attorney doesn’t have knowledge of the information.

What Your Divorce Attorney Needs to Know

Whether you think your divorce will be amicable or contentious, it is crucial that you have an experienced attorney on your side who can remain calm and provide clear-eyed legal guidance. You need someone who understands your legal rights under North Carolina divorce law who will protect you and help you make proper decisions for yourself and your children, and about your property and other financial assets.

Few people, who have not gone through a divorce, are aware of the many issues that should be taken into consideration. Before meeting with your Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks attorney for the first at-length discussion of your reasons and goals for seeking a divorce, you should take the time to reflect and write down notes about issues we’ll need to discuss. We’ll have some general questions and some specific ones we ask all clients to guide the conversation.

In general, what we need to know includes:

  • Personal Information
    • Length of the marriage
    • Existence of prenuptial agreement
    • Each spouse’s age and health
    • Each spouse’s education (ability to earn a living)
    • Each spouse’s income
    • Either spouse’s financial contributions to the other’s education
  • Finances (joint and/or each spouse’s)
    • Income tax returns for the past three to five years (federal and state)
    • Bank accounts, retirement and pension accounts, stock, bonds
    • Property, such as real estate and valuable personal property such as cars, boat, RV, artwork, jewelry
    • Life insurance policies
    • Business assets and debts
    • Debts (credit card, mortgages, and other loans)
    • Disposition of estate planning documents (wills, powers of attorneys, health care directives)
    • Any potential for your spouse to be holding “hidden” assets and/or debts
  • Specific Desires for Division of Assets (strong desire to retain certain personal or real property)
  • Child Custody / Visitation Desires
  • Child Support Needs
  • Pet Custody Issues
  • Marital Issues—any possible allegations against either of you of:
    • Infidelity, including emotional affairs (a close or “special” friend of the opposite sex a spouse confides in)
    • Physical or emotional/verbal spousal abuse
    • Child abuse
    • Alcohol abuse/alcoholism
    • Drug abuse / addiction
    • Other addictions (gambling, pornography).
    • Abandonment (one spouse moving out of the house without the consent of the other spouse)
    • Public/social media discussion of your divorce and/or marital problems.

We will always ask if there is anything else we need to know to make sure we can defend you against any allegation that your spouse’s attorney might make.

We recognize that you may not have all of this information right away or available to you at all. Part of our work as your divorce attorney is to investigate your spouse’s asset and debt declarations and any open allegations of spousal misconduct of any kind. As your attorneys, we will always be open to hearing from you and speaking with you, whenever you have information or questions for us.

The sooner we are fully and accurately apprised of your situation and your needs and desires, the sooner we can craft a strategy to achieve a divorce agreement that protects your rights and addresses your needs. We are dedicated to protecting you as you go through separation and divorce. As your attorneys, we will be focused on that. We are not here to judge you – or your spouse.

Contact Our Raleigh Divorce Attorneys

A family law attorney at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks can guide you through the divorce process and stand up for you. If you do not have a North Carolina separation and divorce attorney, contact a Raleigh family law attorney at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks in Raleigh to schedule an initial meeting. We can outline our family law services and fee structure as we get to know one another.

We are dedicated and compassionate family law attorneys who take our clients’ legal and personal needs seriously as they go through separation and divorce proceedings.

Our top priority is an outcome that meets your best interests. Call us to speak with someone today.

About the Author

Ross Weatherspoon
W. Ross Weatherspoon is a family law attorney for Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. law firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA), NCBA Family Law Section, and the NCBA Young Lawyers Division.

Awards & Memberships