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Making Your Divorce Lawyer Work for You




 

When you first meet a divorce lawyer, you might experience the same feelings you have when you buckle up for an airline flight.  The flight crew calmly recites the safety instructions, and it’s a lot of information to process all at once.  You might feel anxiety, despite their reassurances, making it hard to concentrate.  Still, you trust the airline to deliver you to your destination at the end of the flight.  It’s their job to make the journey as comfortable as possible, and they’ve got plenty of experience. 

It’s the same for your divorce lawyer — it’s his or her job to help you get to the next phase of your life, advancing your personal and financial goals.  But, unlike an airline passenger, you are an active participant in the divorce process.  Your voice is important in planning strategy and making decisions.  There are lots of things you, as a client, can do to help your divorce lawyer achieve your objectives.

Be involved in the process.
Identify and share your goals up front so your lawyer can help you prioritize and strategize. Feel free to ask questions and share ideas and information.  Your divorce lawyer is eager to learn about you and your case; your thoughts and perspective are invaluable. To keep your legal bills under control, try to write down each question as they occur to you, and consolidate them into periodic emails. This is more cost-effective than calling each time something comes to mind.  

Do your homework.
Information is a valuable resource.  Gathering asset information, such as bank statements and tax documents, may be a time-consuming task, but it will help your lawyer get a complete picture of the marital estate and present the best case possible to get you a favorable outcome. Doing the legwork yourself is more cost-effective than having your lawyer contact financial institutions or asking your spouse’s lawyer to produce it.

Think before you act.
Imagine you live in front of a camera at all times during the divorce process.  Consider how your words and actions might be interpreted by a judge.  If you send text messages, or post to social media, your words could be used as evidence in court.  Think about whether your words and actions might help or hurt your case.  When frustration or anger begins to mount, choose a confidential setting to vent your feelings, like a counselor, support group or divorce lawyer.  Develop healthy outlets for your energy, such as exercise or hobbies.  Focus on positive aspects of your life, and let go of negative thoughts.

Be honest at all times.
A successful outcome depends upon having complete, accurate information. Be honest and candid about your life and finances when dealing with your lawyer.  Information is a powerful tool for your divorce lawyer.  The more we know, the better we can help you. 

Contact the experienced family law attorneys at Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC prior to filing divorce so we can best advise you how to prepare.  To educate yourself on additional divorce and preparedness-related topics prior to calling an attorney, visit the blog section or the resources section of the firm’s website.
 

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