Ben Stevens at the South Carolina Family Law Blog has published many good articles about the Attorney-Client relationship and his latest is superb. Thanks also to Jeanne Hannah for the original post from which Ben’s was derived.
New clients often ask their lawyer how they can help ensure a good result in their divorce and/or custody cases. The following tips from Jeanne M. Hannah can help clients obtain good results and often save money in their cases:
- Be prepared. Clients can gather documents and information about important financial issues, which will help save your lawyer time, which will typically save you money.
- Be flexible and prepared to accept change. Understand that financial resources can become stretched during a divorce, and the ability to compromise can be invaluable in helping reach a successful resolution in your case.
- Be truthful with your attorney. Your lawyer’s ability to help you is only as good as the information that you provide to him. If you fail to provide accurate and truthful information, you are only hurting yourself.
- Prepare to use specialists. You will generally obtain better results if you use a lawyer who doesn’t dabble in family law. Sometimes, other specialists may be needed to help with various issues in your case, such as counselors, financial planners, business valuation experts, CPAs, and/or child specialists.
- Ask your lawyer for recommendations to a specialist. Your attorney can typically refer you to well qualified experts when the need arises.
- Make a list of the goals, needs and interests that are important to you, ranking them in order of importance. Once you draft your list, verify that they are realistic, and then focus on them and don’t get distracted.
- Be empathic to your spouse’s position. By keeping all avenues of negotiation open, you can determine the other person’s goals and thus what motivates him/her to settle.
- Reduce conflict. The more you can work to reduce conflict and work toward a solution, the more you can reduce your cost in any case. Also, you should remember that conflicts consume not only money, but also energy.
- Remember, this isn’t the end of the world. At the end of the day, you want to be able to walk away, to take a break, and to start over while holding your head high, knowing that you handled things in the right way.
You can read much more about each of these tips by visiting Ms. Hannah’s blog.