There are few among us who do not intentionally harbor a secret or two. It is quite understandable that individuals want some aspects of their lives to remain private. But, for better and for worse, not all secrets should be kept forever. Sometimes, failure to reveal secrets at a specific point in time may lead to potentially disastrous consequences. But how can you tell whether revealing a secret or keeping one hidden will cause more damage? The answer to this complex question depends on individual circumstance.
If you are navigating a family law matter and are concerned that skeletons in your closet may impact the eventual outcome of your case, please consider speaking with an experienced attorney. Attorney-client relationships are general confidential, so you need have little reason to worry that speaking with a lawyer about your situation and options will impact you negatively. Asking a lawyer questions about your situation is unlikely to result in problematic consequences, but failing to seek experienced counsel may cause any number of otherwise preventable problems.
Divorce and Child Support
Most divorces are filed as “no-fault” which means that the divorce process is unaffected by conduct that may have led to the end of a marriage. For this reason, the only significant “skeleton” that could cause you problems during divorce negotiations or hearings is hidden assets. If you hide assets from the court, you could face substantial penalties. Rather than crossing your fingers and hoping that the court doesn’t find out about your conduct, it is best to discuss the situation with your attorney so that you can minimize any damage done to your case. If you have yet to submit formal disclosures, you may not even be held liable for keeping assets hidden until this point.
The same can be said for child support actions. Hidden assets may affect the foundational calculus of child support awards. As a result, it is important to be forthcoming about any hidden assets as soon as possible. Beyond this particular challenge, any skeletons in your closet are unlikely to affect the outcome of a child support dispute.
Child Custody, Visitation and Adoption Matters
Skeletons and secrets become a bit more relevant when dealing with child custody or adoption matters. Family law judges are required to make determinations in these cases according to the “best interests of the child” standard. If your past or any secrets you hold may impact a judge’s opinion of whether a child’s best interests may be impacted by placement with you, this may become a significant issue. As a result, it is important to speak with your attorney about any criminal convictions, significant civil violations or other elements of your past that may affect a judge’s perception of you as a capable parent. These obstacles are not necessarily insurmountable, but they may require a different legal strategy than the one you and your attorney initially agreed upon.
Legal Help Is Available
If you have questions about how your past or secrets you are currently holding close to your chest may impact your family legal matter, please reach out to an experienced family lawyer Collin County, TX relies on today. As previously noted, virtually all attorney-client communications are treated as confidential, so you can be confident in the act of seeking necessary legal counsel.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Scroggins Law Group for their knowledge about family law cases.