There are some people who would say they want a lawyer that "fights for them." We can all thank Larry H. Parker for coining that phrase. Others may say they want a lawyer that is honest and works hard. But what I sometimes hear and which still bothers me is people who want to hire a divorce lawyer to be their hired gun.
What do I mean by that?
Some people believe the best lawyers in divorce or any area of law are the ones who will do whatever the client wants and do whatever it takes (including engaging in unethical or unprofessional behavior) to do so.
Are the best Orange County divorce lawyers hired guns? Are the best lawyers in any area of law that way?
We don't believe so. For those who are surprised by that answer, I will explain…
Divorce lawyers are the same as all lawyers in one respect. They are bound by the oath they gave when they became licensed and have promised to follow the California rules of professional conduct.
Lawyers are not permitted to do whatever it takes to win, if that "takes" includes breaking the rules of ethics or the law. The best divorce lawyers know this. They don't lie for their clients. The best lawyers do not represent clients who they know are lying or intend to lie (perjure themselves) to the family court. They certainly do not subordinate perjury nor do they help a client misrepresent facts.
In divorce and family law, this issue comes up in various ways but the following four are the most common:
- Spouse who wishes to keep an asset a secret to avoid discovery of it.
- Spouse who wishes to falsify income to avoid paying the required support.
- Parent who wishes to use the children as leverage to lower or increase support.
- Spouse or parent who makes false allegations of spousal abuse or child abuse.
Each one of these raises a serious ethical issue that ranges from perjury to fraud. Could a spouse or parent be successful in the divorce or family law case if they did any of these things? Sure. It's an imperfect process. But the consequences of getting caught are severe. Consider this:
- If the hidden asset is discovered, even years later, the spouse who tried to hide it could be punished by losing the right to 100% of the asset plus lawyer's fees incurred to find the asset and all of the court proceedings that resulted from it.
- If the falsified income is discovered, the parent could see his support increase and also be held in contempt of court. Further, significant attorney's fees could be ordered. The Court has discretion to make other orders.
- A parent who uses the children as leverage is only delaying the inevitable because once the court learns that he or she is not exercising his or her right to the visitation or is interfering with the other parent's visitation, custody and visitation will revert back to what it should have been and the parent may find him or herself paying the other parent's lawyers fees.
- False child abuse accusations, once the falsity is proven, can result in a loss of custody. We have seen this first hand. Our top Orange County divorce lawyers have taken custody away (100% of it) from parents who have made false allegations of abuse. False allegations of spousal abuse can lead to serious financial punishment, including sanctions and fees.
Is it worth it?
The best Orange County divorce lawyers, like our divorce lawyers, know this.
We have gone up against lawyers who have represented their clients in this way.
We have beaten them because of our hard work and our client's ex spouse has felt the punishment the court handed down for their misconduct. We believe we are one of the top Orange County divorce law firms. We handle cases ethnically and within the law. Aggressive representation does not mean a lawyer should break the law…the lawyer should not even bend it.
Our divorce lawyers has been successful because we work hard to represent good and honest people with the right intentions.
Does "good and honest" describe you? Then you owe it to yourself to call us. We are ready to help.