Divorce… is the ugly relationship status that can lead to messy situations most would never know where there until they came to fruition. Americans are susceptible to divorce, and for decades now the statistic stands (but gradually falling according to https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr049.pdf) that half of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Not the proudest statistic, next to most incarnated per state, but nonetheless it is a business opportunity at the legal end. For many attorneys that deal with divorce their personal lives get caught up in the mess, so for those of you that deal with the adult break ups here is the Top Ten Ethical Don’ts list provided by us to help you stay out of the danger zone:
1. Don’t have sex with your client.
This should be a no brainer, but you would be surprised.
2. Don’t record an attorney’s lien on property without first getting a court order confirming the lien.
You have no idea how many times this occurs… and still happens to this day!
3. Don’t subpoena records or documents without the required notice to the other side.
“What they don’t know can’t hurt me, right?” Nope, you’re wrong.
4. Don’t attempt to use illegal telephone or electronic interceptions.
Please stay away from the twitter feed… or any other feed of that sorts unless it is professionally inclined so.
5. Don’t represent one party to a divorce when you have previously represented the other party.
It’s as simple as school yard sports, “Don’t play both sides.” If you do, no one will want to play with you.
6. Don’t violate court orders or advise your client to violate court orders.
Any word that contains violate, you should probably do your best to avoid in any scenario
7. Don’t fail to pay court reporter transcript fees.
Forgot to pay your parking ticket? Oh bummer. Forgot to pay for transcript fees? Oh good luck with that one.
8. Don’t delay in filing pleading or orders or delay in returning telephone calls.
Are you a procrastinator? If so by failing this one you’ll know for sure.
9. Don’t harass the special advocate, the other attorney or the other party
If you need to ask what we mean by harassing, you’re probably doing it already and looking for a reason to get away with it. Just stop.
10. Don’t alter notarized documents.
You can alter many things in this life, eating choices, TV programs, your sexual partner (as long as it’s not your client), but legal documentation shouldn’t be one of them especially when they are incredibly important and frustrating to obtain.