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Divorce, Family Law

Top 5 Do’s & Don’ts for Matrimonial Clients

Top 5 Do’s & Don’ts for Matrimonial Clients


By Guest Writer: Daniel Barli – Barli & Associates, LLC


In my experience with our matrimonial practice, we have come to realize there are certain things that clients and lawyers should do and certain things that they definitely should not do. It is crucial to ensure success for both the attorney and the client to try and spot these as soon as possible:


Let’s begin with the Top 5 Things that Attorneys should do:

  1.  Set realistic expectations: As the lawyer, you want to set realistic expectations. After your client shares their story with you, you’ll want to go over the high points and don’t make promises that are not realistic. For example, don’t promise they won’t pay any alimony and are walking away with no financial repercussions. Make sure they know the divorce won’t take 2 weeks either.
  2.  Communicate well and often: Communication can be by telephone, email, or in-person meetings. Let the client know your preferred method of communication so they can work more effectively with you.
  3.  Support and resources: It’s important for your client to realize that you are not their only client and there will be times that you cannot take their call right away. You want to make sure the client knows you have a support staff that are there to help the client as well, such as paralegals and legal assistants.
  4.  Be focused on the solution: Rather than go over the process with a client over and over again, identify the result that you are seeking and focus on the results for the client’s best interest. Once a client knows what the result you are trying to get them are, they are usually more receptive to the process you want to go through.
  5.  Listen: Clients want to be heard and often want to share the whole story with you. While it’s important to let them talk, you want to remind them to be concise but share their feelings. You are there to help your clients close this chapter of their life and move on to better things.

In the day to day operations, you’ll come across many types of people with differing expectations.  Just remember to practice with common sense!