Listening to Your Instincts About Your Divorce Lawyer
Key Points
  • Each person has his or her own experiences and opinions, lawyers are not immune to this, however, you want to make sure that you do your homework when you are seeking to hire a lawyer.
  • Lawyers have their own personalities and characteristics. Not everyone will work well together. Make sure you listen to that little voice if it tells you this might not be a good fit. After all, you are paying your lawyer to work for you.
  • Things you might want to look for, does your lawyer make eye contact? Does he or she talk to you in a respectful manner? Is the lawyer rushing you through the initial meeting? Divorce is stressful enough, you do not need to feel like you are a bother.

For example, think about whether a lawyer made eye contact with you, and if not, whether this bothers you. Was the lawyer glib, dismissive, or callous? Did he or she oversimplify the issues or make you feel your cause was hopeless? Did you hear any words of encouragement, or did you only hear about how wonderful the lawyer considers him or herself? Factors such as these and your reactions to them are legitimate considerations when choosing an attorney.

Do not overlook behaviors you find offensive and hope that they will go away. They won’t.

Lawyers who handle divorces come in all shapes and sizes. There are those rare, kind souls who live to help their clients expectations by providing psychological and legal support during a stressful period in their lives. But then there are those who see divorce as a relatively simple, mechanical process that generates income; those who punish and bully their clients’ spouses because of their own unresolved personal problems; and those who, unable to succeed in another area of the law not so fraught with negative emotion, are stuck doing divorces for a living.

Lawyers, like other people, have their own individual personalities and problems. Nothing distinguishes a lawyer from the rest of humanity except the act of having gone to law school and passing the bar exam. Like any other person, a lawyer can be disorganized, careless, irresponsible, overcommitted, vengeful, greedy, addicted, or otherwise undesirable. Like any other person, a lawyer can have ideological perceptions totally different from your own. No state licensing board has screened out undesirable or incompatible lawyers. This is your job, and you must do it while enduring the pain of divorce. It won’t be easy. It will take guts. But by doing your homework, you should be able to make an educated choice about the lawyer who will play a very important role in how you will live the rest of your life.

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No one wants to hire a divorce lawyer, but the fact is that millions of men and women go through divorce and custody proceedings every year. Many people believe that any lawyer can and will protect them from the potential nightmare of a domestic lawsuit. In reality, the lawyer can become part of the nightmare instead. You owe it to yourself-and your kids-to hire the best lawyer possible.

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This book supplies the knowledge you will need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your divorce lawyer and guide you in making an educated decision on whether or not it is in your best interests to switch to a new lawyer.

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WHAT THE CLIENT EXPECTS – The client expects that his or her lawyer will confer to pinpoint the problem, research and analyze all available facts and information relating to it, negotiate a settlement if both sides can reach a fair agreement, be candid with the client about the problem, the prospects for success, the time it will take, the advisability of accepting any settlement offered, and keep in confidence anything said.
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