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Does Attorney-Client Privilege Apply to California Family Law Cases?

Posted on August 15th, 2022

At the Harris Family Law Group, our Los Angeles family law attorney knows that we can only provide quality legal services for our California clients if they trust us.

Part of that trust comes with connecting with our clients, so they understand we are here to protect their rights and pursue their best interests — not judge them or their family dynamics.

The other part is ensuring their communications with our lawyer are protected under attorney-client privilege, so they know what they say to our family law attorney is private and confidential.

Here is why that is important when you are seeking a divorce, child custody, or spousal or child support from your spouse in California.

How is Attorney-Client Privilege Defined?

Attorney-client privilege refers to a legal privilege that works to keep confidential communications between an attorney and their client private.

The primary reason for attorney-client privilege is to ensure attorneys — including family lawyers, criminal attorneys, and other legal representatives — cannot be forced to testify against their clients. It also ensures that any attorney must keep their clients’ sensitive information private from third parties.

Attorney-Client Privilege Does Not Extend to Third Parties

It is incredibly important to ensure your communications with your family law attorney are protected by privilege. That means keeping your conversations private, and never discussing sensitive details about your divorce, child custody, or financial needs in front of a third party.

Your disclosure of sensitive information in front of a third party indicates you do not want to keep the information private. Therefore, the attorney-client privilege will no longer apply.

This is important when meeting with your attorney, and in your private life. When you are talking with a friend or family member, or there just happens to be someone else within earshot of your conversation, this person is not affiliated with your attorney — and is therefore not bound by privilege. That means he or she can share the details you discussed with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, or anyone on his or her legal team.

When is My Family Lawyer Bound By Attorney-Client Privilege?

Most attorney-client privileges begin with a commitment that states you and the lawyer are in a professional relationship where he or she is going to represent you during a legal matter.

Often, this includes signing an engagement form. This form will state that you are engaging the lawyer to represent you. This document will begin the attorney-client relationship.

At the Harris Family Law Group, our dedicated divorce attorney provides straightforward legal representation that allows our clients to establish their expectations, and our law firm to create clear boundaries, so our goals are aligned from the beginning.

How can we help you get started with your new life?

Contact Our Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Los Angles, California Today

If you have questions about partnering with a family law attorney, whether our law firm is the right fit for you, or how you can help move the process along with the help of a skilled divorce attorney, we can help by scheduling a free consultation today by calling (310) 745-8644.

At the Harris Family Group, our Los Angeles divorce attorneys collaborate with clients using flat fees, instead of billable hours, which allows you to plan your expenditures upfront, so you can have confidence in your financial future.