Is what I tell a divorce lawyer confidential?

This is a common question we get at Hughes Law Group. Tell your divorce attorney your true concerns and be candid with your goals and your reasons. It is essential that you can reveal the facts of your case without the concern that this information will ever be disclosed. Lawyers have a duty of confidentiality to their clients. Discretely preserving secrets is an essential skill of every excellent lawyer.

California Evidence Code §954 generally provides that the client has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another from disclosing, a confidential communication between client and lawyer. For purpose of this statute, you are a “client” during the initial consultation. The privilege doesn’t wait to start until the attorney is formally hired with a written contract.

Even though California is a no fault state and the Court will make a simple finding of irreconcilable differences if either of you want a divorce, telling your family law attorney the underlying reasons for the breakup can still be very helpful to your representation. It gives us insight into the emotional positions of the parties for litigation or settlement, particularly if trust has to be rebuilt in good faith negotiations. Facts or accusations of abuse, criminal activity, as well as drug or alcohol issues indicate child custody and protective order issues that need to be resolved. Confidentially telling your family law attorney the “bumps in the road” helps us develop an overall divorce or custody strategy.

At Hughes Law Group, we take pride in putting the needs of our clients first. Throughout our 27 years of practice in family law in Sacramento, we have helped hundreds of families gain peace of mind through their divorces and other difficult family matters. Please schedule a consultation with us so we can learn more about your unique situation and discuss the best path forward.

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