How to Be a Good Divorce Client
Being a great client within the context of your divorce can affect your divorce outcome more than many other elements in your case.
The first thing to remember in being a great divorce client is to take care of yourself. Build-up and lean upon your support network. I remind my clients, that for some issues, friends are a lot cheaper to talk to than I am! Also, recognize that this is hard. This is hard on you. This is hard on your children. And trust me, this is also hard on your spouse. Take a deep breath and relax. Consider that you have come to me with what is oftentimes the most difficult and emotionally charged situation of your life. Take a breath, really . . . , breathe. I am in this with you for the long-haul and I need you to be ready for a marathon. So, take care of yourself.
We are going to move forward with a plan to resolve the issues in your case as expediently as possible and it is extremely important to the success of your case that you let the legal process play out. Setting hearings, getting information from the opposing side, scheduling meditations, waiting on professional reports, preparing for trial, and actually going to trial is a time-consuming process. Sometimes court dockets are extremely full. Oftentimes, the opposing side will intentionally delay. It is important to me that my clients move through this process in a manner that ensures their stress and frustrations do not hurt their case.
I ask my clients to compile and organize information as much as possible. The more in-focus we paint the picture of your case through tangible evidence, the more successful we are going to be in achieving a resolution. Only you can compile the financial information. Only you can point me toward the emails and text messages that tell your story. Only you can help me understand your assets and debts. And, only you know where to look for people who can corroborate events that took place throughout your marriage. Knowing and proving your story are two separate burdens and my most successful clients help to shoulder that burden.
It is important to be cordial with your spouse, regardless of their behavior. It is no longer necessary to win an argument with them. Realize that you win every time you do not engage in a conflict of any type because the court is looking towards a de-escalation of conflict. We will fight for you. You job is to help us de-escalate the conflict. We do not shy away from conflict; I just do not want my clients to be the source of unnecessary conflict because it hurts the outcome of the divorce.
When you have questions, it is most efficient if you write them down and we address them all at once over a phone call or at a face-to-face meeting. When needed, I can address individual concerns, but we get a lot more done when we take a rapid-fire approach to you questions.
It goes without saying: always do what’s best for your children. This is not only the most difficult thing they have ever experienced, but they are not yet developmentally mature enough to deal with high conflict. It is a reality of divorce and co-parenting that you often-times need to bite the bullet and just show up, because that is what your kids need.
Work well with the other professionals in your case. They will likely be determinative in the outcome of your case. Treat them with respect. Always behave as if the judge is in the room.
Do not fall prey to over valuing a Search Engine education. That is, although they would lead you to believe otherwise, not all answers are easily accessible through a search engine on a webpage. Laws vary from state-to-state and even local rules change from county-to-county and judge-to-judge. Fears, false hopes, and misapplied family strategies are born from ill-informed internet search information.
Last, but not least, remember that divorce is a process, a transition, albeit a painful one, but it is a step that you will get through. Be patient. Although that is easier said than done, remember that you can do this! Spend your time developing your dreams of a wonderful life beyond this conflict and let’s work together to ensure you are set up to realize those dreams.