Q:Can my lawyer also represent my spouse in the divorce?
A:An attorney can represent you or your spouse- but not both of you in a divorce. Attorneys and clients have a relationship where conversations and communications between the two of you must be kept private. This is a special kind of relationship that would be violated by sharing a lawyer with your spouse. An attorney would be violating their responsibility by providing candid representation of you and your interests by doing the same for your spouse.
Q:What is the attorney-client privilege?
A:The attorney-client privilege is based on confidentiality. Confidentiality prohibits the sharing of any information provided to your attorney by you. If you tell your lawyer something and tell him or her not to repeat that then it is privileged. Your lawyer can be held responsibe from a professional responsibility standpoint if he or she does share this confidential information. Exceptions to this rule apply if you told your attorney information regarding the commission of a crime.
Q:Are only verbal communications protected under the attorney-client privilege?
A:No. Written correspondence like letters and emails between you and your attorney are also privileged. For example, you may need to provide information to your attorney at the beginning of a case for a “goal setting” session. These goals will be kept private and confidential. However, if you explicitly give your attorney permission to share information or share the information yourself then the privilege is waived.
Q:What about a no-fault divorce? What are those?
A:A no fault divorce is the most typical type of divorce in Texas. Insupportability or an inability to get along with your spouse does not attach a specific cause of divorce to your case. Rather, you would obtain a divorce just because you and your spouse cannot get along and have no hope of a reconciliation. No fault divorces are relatively new concepts in family law with most states only adopting laws on no fault divorce within the past three or four generations.
Q:What are fault grounds in the context of a Texas divorce?
A:When getting a divorce based on specific fault grounds you are telling the judge that you need the divorce for a specific cause. By asserting and then proving fault grounds for divorce you give yourself an opportunity to gain an advantage in relation to your spouse regarding child custody and community property division. Examples of fault grounds for divorce in Texas include adultery, cruel treatment, abandonment and confinement in a mental hospital.