Attorney fees and expenses can quickly accumulate to overwhelming amounts in contested divorce cases. Each week, I will provide you with a tip on how to reduce the cost of your divorce.
TIP #2. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY.
Clients are understandably reluctant to reveal their secrets to an attorney – a person they likely met and hired just ten minutes ago. However, the divorce process is intrusive. Your spouse will conduct thorough discovery into your financial situation, personal beliefs and history. You can be certain that nothing will remain secret in a contested divorce case.
By disclosing all relevant facts and information from the outset of your case, you can ensure that your divorce attorney is adequately prepared to respond to potential claims and allegations. You will also eliminate the need to spend time and money filing amended pleadings to clarify or resolve inaccuracies.
Pursuant to Rule 26.1 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, you will be required to provide a detailed accounting of your finances in the form of a verified Financial Declaration. You can find a sample Financial Declaration on the Intermountain Legal website. Don’t manipulate the numbers. Your attorney will need to know exactly how much you earned last year, how much debt you have accumulated and how much money you have saved or invested. All the information that you provide will need to be verified through bank records, account statements, monthly bills, tax returns and pay stubs.
You should also be prepared to disclose information relating to your marriage, your background and history and your spouse’s background and history. Your divorce attorney should be informed as to any criminal convictions, affairs or allegations of domestic violence that may be relevant to your case. Keep organized records and be prepared to verify any claims you make against your spouse. Provide your attorney with copies of police reports, child abuse findings, phone records or photographs that may assist in resolving your case.
Don’t be shy. The family law team at Intermountain Legal has handled hundreds of cases, involving everything from child abuse to drug dependency issues to open marriage. Hailey Black has the knowledge and experience to advise you on the proper ways to handle difficult issues.