Their aim seems to be to inflame the emotions of all parties. Every detail is a showdown to them, nothing is ever worked out and every issue is complex. Agitators are always at court complaining about the conduct of opposing party or counsel. Often the conduct they complain of is the normal and expected response to something far worse that the agitator did. Agitators aren't out to solve anything, just to do a lot of posturing.
An agitator may be able to prevent progress in your case for a considerable period of time. If the situation becomes intolerable, ask the judge to appoint a master, a referee with limited legal authority, to supervise discovery or other activities that the agitator is blowing all out of proportion.
How to Deal With "The Agitator"
An experienced agitator is tough to nail down. If he or she already has a bad reputation in court, your attorney might convince the judge that protective orders and sanctions are necessary. Such orders are hard to get. Expect to have to go to court the first time and get only a warning that if the agitator does "this" again, the court will consider imposing a monetary fine on the agitator. Make the best of this difficult situation, move your case along as quickly as reasonable and be glad that you have an attorney to deal with this beast your spouse found
How to Deal With "Passive Aggressive" Attorneys
Another type of attorney may passively frustrate your sincere attempts to be reasonable. Opposing attorneys who never respond to calls or letters force you to go to court when to do something that could have been done the easy way. When the other attorney won't participate or isn't ready, one salvation is that you will probably do better at trial because your opposition isn't prepared.
Some Divorce Attorneys Bury the Other Side in Paperwork!
Still other attorneys may paper you to death with letters, discovery requests and court motions. There is little you can do about it. Limits on the number of interrogatories can be exceeded for good cause. Motions can always be set for court hearing, and unless they are blatantly frivolous, the court will likely go through the motions. Restrictions on how much your opposing counsel can use the legal process are unlikely because they would restrict the attorney's ability to represent his or her client.
Expect the Unexpected
The general advice to move your case along as quickly as you can applies to each opposing counsel problem area. Perhaps you can convince your spouse that he or she is spending a fortune in legal fees, only to lose if your spouse loses. If so, you may get some relief. Otherwise, establish your foundation for a request for attorney's fees and costs based upon the conduct of your opposition. Always present your position in writing throughout the case, request cooperation and then, in a matter-of-fact way, tell the other side you will seek fees if it becomes necessary.
Don't be shocked if you have to deal with some "unreasonable behavior" from your spouse -- this is divorce after all. Each of you may be gruff or uncooperative at times, but being prepared will help you discount some grumbling as simply going with the territory. Often, your lawyers can play a useful role by buffering you from each other's animosity.
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