Divorce can be an incredibly draining and stressful experience. Whether it’s a mutual decision, contested, or involves minimal shared property, divorce always holds the potential of forcing you to upend and restructure your life, seemingly in a very short amount of time. Some individuals weather the stress of divorce more easily than others. For the emotionally distraught client, the right divorce lawyer can make a world of difference in their experience.
Good Attorneys Build Trust With Clients Through Honest Conversations
The attorney-client relationship is a complicated one. Despite this, there are limits to what an attorney can offer. Unfortunately, many clients simply assume their attorneys are responsible for their successes and failures in the courtroom and ultimately have the ability to get them whatever they want from their divorce cases. Though attorneys appreciate their clients’ trust, they aren’t superheroes. They must work within the confines of the legal system.
Experienced divorce attorneys will provide their new clients with clear explanations of the services they offer and what the client should expect from the outcome of their case. Lawyers have a professional obligation to keep clients reasonably informed about their cases. Building trust and transparency early in an attorney-client relationship is the mark of a great divorce attorney.
Attorneys Can Keep Stressed and Vengeful Clients in Check
It’s no secret that divorce isn’t easy, but each client responds to and handles divorce differently. When a client is devastated or in denial about the relationship’s dissolution, it can be difficult for them to grasp the reasoning behind their attorney’s requests for information. When they are vengeful, the attorney may need to remind the client that the attorney cannot engage in illegal behavior on the client’s behalf.
Experienced divorce attorneys can handle these emotionally delicate situations through open and honest conversations. Explaining to a distraught client why the attorney needs certain information can calm the client and help them look at the case more objectively. When it comes to vengeful clients, good divorce lawyers will remind them of the limitations of legal representation and help them realize that vengeance as they imagine it is ultimately destructive for everyone involved and will do nothing to aid in their recovery following the divorce.
Good Attorneys Are Empathetic and Communicative
Another key trait every experienced divorce attorney should have is the ability to communicate clearly and compassionately with clients. No matter where a client falls on the emotional spectrum during and following a divorce, the attorney’s duty to get all necessary information from the client about the case as efficiently as possible. Good attorneys do this by acknowledging clients’ fragile emotional states and adjusting their approaches accordingly.
It can be frustrating for a client to deal with an attorney who only offers limited availability for updates and answering questions. However, the other side of this issue is the fact that many attorneys handle multiple cases at once. Good divorce attorneys provide their clients with several avenues of communication, including phone, email, and text messaging. Prompt responses are the mark of a great attorney. Even if the attorney cannot succinctly answer a client’s question via email or text, they will acknowledge receipt of the question and respond, letting the client know that their issue requires further discussion.
Your Attorney Should Keep Billing Simple and Straightforward
Divorce can exact an extreme financial toll on some divorcing spouses. For example, a displaced homemaker who has little to no personal credit history will have a much different experience following divorce than another person who divorced in the midst of an established career. Attorneys typically bill their services by the hour for divorce cases, but every attorney will take a different approach to each divorce case. The best divorce attorneys assume a client-focused approach to a new case. They will carefully evaluate the client’s financial situation to determine the best way to bill for their services.
Divorce can be a costly process. The best divorce lawyers help their clients not only handle their legal fees but also help them prepare for their independent financial futures, such as connecting them with accounting services or providing guidance on future budgeting while taking the legal aspects of their divorce agreements into account.
The Best Attorneys Provide Informed and Responsive Legal Counsel
One of the biggest challenges facing an attorney in a divorce case is determining how to extract all the necessary information the attorney needs from a client while the client is emotionally exhausted and stressed from the ordeal. For example, the discovery process is a necessary but often stressful component of any divorce case. When an attorney can explain the need for thorough discovery succinctly to a client, this may turn the client into a more active participant in the production of necessary documents and other discovery materials. This could lead to more agreeable interactions with the opposing side, ultimately streamlining the discovery process for everyone and obtaining all necessary information more quickly.
The best divorce attorneys provide their clients with explanations for all of their requests and suggestions. Attorneys have a professional duty to act in the best interests of their clients, but some attorneys are willing to defer to a client’s judgment when it comes to certain aspects of their representation.
The mark of a good divorce attorney is the ability to adapt to uncertain circumstances and to adjust their approach to a case with agility. Good divorce attorneys must also know how to navigate divorce cases that involve domestic abuse, stalking, and other criminal behaviors. For example, an attorney may need to act quickly to secure protective orders, restraining orders, or injunctive relief orders on behalf of their clients.
Divorce has the potential to be one of the most emotionally stressful experiences of a person’s life, and their attorney will play a very important role in the experience and the outcome of the case. If you are preparing to divorce in the near future, it’s worth taking the time to get to know a potential divorce attorney before agreeing to representation so you can be sure they can provide the stability, support, and guidance you need to handle your divorce case in a reasonable manner.