You want to have a symbiotic relationship with your divorce lawyer. That’s why you chose that attorney. Here are 5 cooperative things that you can do to help keep a great, productive relationship with your lawyer.
1. Call – But Only When You Really Need To Talk To Your Lawyer. If you’re calling to vent, call your best friend. If it’s a minor dispute with your soon-to-be-ex, ask if you can handle it on your own. Do you really need to involve your attorney? Is it a legal issue? You should expect regular updates on your case, but that doesn’t mean daily updates. There are waiting times or “down times” in every case. Treat your relationship with your lawyer like a business relationship (it is!). Call when you have something important to ask or report, but don’t call unnecessarily. Besides risking annoying the attorney and hurting your relationship, the other side of too many phone calls is they may increase your bill.
2. Help The Attorney Help You. Your attorney is your advocate, but to do the best possible job for you, you have to help. Gather up any pertinent documents – from bank statements to credit card statements. Make copies and put them in a logical order (a binder with tabs is great). Give the attorney any papers and information that are needed promptly and efficiently.
3. Listen To the Attorney’s Advice. That’s what you are paying for – the lawyer’s expertise. So, take advantage of it. For example, if the attorney advises you on what not to discuss with your spouse, don’t discuss it. Trying to solve what can become a legal problem on your own is not advisable. That’s the attorney’s job.
4. Pay Your Bills. It’s that simple. You hired the lawyer; you pay the lawyer. Attorneys understand that divorce can mean a change in your finances. If you are having financial difficulties, talk to your attorney and work out a financial plan that will work for both of you.
5. You Are Still A Parent. It can be hard to put aside the negative feelings you have about the person you are divorcing, but, if you have children, you are both still parents. Don’t put your attorney in an unreasonable position by demanding something the attorney knows the courts will not approve. Your attorney will help you build a foundation for co-parenting. Work with your attorney in the best interest of your children.
Choose your divorce attorney carefully. Talk with more than one attorney. Find a divorce lawyer who is experienced and who makes you feel comfortable. Then, once you hire your attorney, do your part to create the best attorney-client relationship possible!