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Three Things to Know to Better Your Relationship with Your Divorce Attorney

Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_Divorce-Lawyer_640.jpgDivorce is hard.  We can help.

As most of us know, the path through the divorce process is often paved with heartache, frustration and heightened stress. If you are lucky and smart enough to hire the right counsel, these emotions can be lessened with their advice...if you choose to follow it!  Here's some initial advice, however:hire an attorney that you are comfortable with, one who is knowledgeable and one that thoroughly answers your questions.

Three things divorce litigants need to know about their relationship with their attorney:

  1. Be honest with your attorney about finances and other issues.
  • The worst thing you can do for yourself in a divorce is to keep your attorney out of the loop.  We do NOT want to be surprised by new facts in Court.  Ever.
  • You must pay your bills and meet your financial obligations, but this is not the time to make any major financial changes or large purchases without speaking to your attorney first. If your car breaks down and you have to replace it, go ahead and replace it with a comparable car. However, now is not the time to purchase that sports car that you've always dreamt of owning and that may be worth more than some mortgages.  Join Pinterest and pin pictures of it, but don't buy it.
  • Are you dating?  If so, tell your attorney.  He or she will not judge you, but need to arm you with advice on what to do and what behavior to avoid; this is especially important if custody, spousal maintenance, or alimony is at issue.
  • If you are working, tell your attorney your income.  Do not hide assets or income in order to avoid a child support obligation.  Be up front with your counsel.

 

  1. Your attorney is like your divorce mom, she knows best!
  • If your attorney tells you to do something, do it. If your attorney tells you not to do something, don't do it.
  • Be sure to complete the documents your attorney gives you within the set timeframe. She isn't making up these deadlines; certain documents need to be completed at certain stages of the divorce and if you don't complete them, you are faced with higher attorneys' fees and you may fall into disfavor with the Court.  Do the work.
  • Heed the advice of your attorney on how to deal with your spouse.  That is why you hired an attorney; it is difficult for a client to make rational decisions during a divorce as the situation is laced with emotion.  Your attorney is able to be an objective influence.  Use this to your advantage.  You will look back and be glad you did.

 

  1. Do not avoid the subject of attorney's fees.
  • Most divorces are not cheap, and finances are often more difficult during a divorce.  However, do not avoid the subject of attorney's fees.  When you get your bill from your attorney, open it.  You do not want to be surprised by the balance at any point.
  • Do not assume your spouse will be required to pay your fees – but discuss this possibility with your attorney; we can request that the Court order your spouse to be responsible or contribute to your fees.
  • Do not avoid staff from your attorney's office if they call for payment.  Be up front with your attorney about paying your bill, and if you are unable to pay it in full, work out a payment arrangement.
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