Relationship with Your Divorce Lawyer
You Want a Close Personal Relationship
Looking for a Close Relationship with Your Divorce Lawyer? | Divorce Cases Bring Unique Challenges to the Relationship | Demands on Divorce Attorneys | Find Out What You Need to Know Are you looking for a close relationship with your divorce lawyer?
Many clients ask us if we can fight for them, but a competent and professional lawyer must answer no. Divorce cases bring their own unique challenges to the relationship, and lawyers have to be careful not to let the process anger expand the case. You must also be aware of the demands on divorce attorneys and the narrow frame of reference that you have to work within. Find out what you need to know to ensure that you can avoid post–divorce conflict and come out of the process as a winner.
You want your lawyer to predict the future, be your friend, win every letter, write with perfection, speak with high eloquence, anticipate your every concern, resolve your case in days, convince the other spouse that he or she is bad and you are good, soothe your fears about an uncertain future, guarantee that your children will thrive, make the judge see it is not your fault, forgive you, find a legal loophole for your problem, understand you, listen to you, counsel you, ensure you will be okay, and, most of all, to love you.
Lawyers are not born with Superhuman skills
Lawyers are business people. They know that they cannot serve in the many roles that you desire. They know that you can never afford to pay by the hour for all of the love that you need. Even if you could afford it, a caring lawyer knows that an expansive scope of representation will lead to an expansive level of disappointment for the client.
Divorce Cases bring unique challenges to the relationship
The very nature of the representation of a divorcing client is founded upon disappointment, discontent, and, sometimes, uncontrollable hate. It only makes sense — the foundation of a divorce is the break-up of two people who loved and trusted one another enough to make a commitment, get a license, and build a life together. You hate the process and the process creates anger. The process anger expands the case. You must do all you can to avoid permitting your case to expand beyond its natural borders. Indulging anger over the process of the divorce to guide your decision will only make your problem worse.
Demands on Divorce Attorneys
When we hire a lawyer to represent us in a divorce or separation, our expectations are high. You want your relationship with your divorce lawyer to be so much more. Many clients ask me, “Will you fight for me?” I often reply that I will fight for your interests; unfortunately what many people really mean when they say “fight for me” is “do whatever I tell you”. The answer of a competent and professional lawyer to this question must be no.
The client sets the goals for the case. The lawyer, in concert with the client, must be responsible for refocusing the client’s goals to find the place that satisfies the client’s concern, and gets the opposing litigant to the point where they can live with our demand. You are locked into a very narrow frame of reference. Everything you view boils down to the conflict, which must be won or lost.
If you do not win a particular point or a particular battle, you presume that you are losing, the opposing side is winning, and your lawyer is not fighting hard enough for you. But this is not really the case. There are relatively few wins but many losses in a divorce case. Avoiding post-divorce conflict is the greatest challenge in our court system today. Taking a different view will enable both parties to emerge winners.
Thanks to Horn Law Group, LLC intern Noah Hilsdorf.