Divorce is a legal process fraught with emotion. When you enter this often confusing, often maddening process, you are walking into a situation where you have no idea what may happen, but your future, and the future of your children, may turn drastically on the outcome. It can be upsetting at times, as well as frustrating and expensive.
During the divorce process you may feel like you are “losing,” or that the other side is lying and not being held accountable. You may feel like you were taken advantage of during the marriage, your spouse cheated or spent money you didn’t agree to or didn’t treat your children the way they deserve to be treated. You may think the divorce process is a way to get back or get even, but having those thoughts will not only cost you significantly in fees but will also cost you emotionally since it is likely not the way the judge or the law will handle the matter.
Asking a lawyer to fight for you when the lawyer knows you are being unreasonable, and having that lawyer just say “yes” to whatever you want, will only increase costs and frustration in the end. Your attorney should be your agent of reality, telling you not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear to make an informed and thoughtful decision about your case. It is rare for a judge to award anything significantly more or less than 50% of the marital property; you may have to provide evidence about why your spouse should not have your children half the time; you may have to justify your spending or work history. All of these topics are uncomfortable but must be discussed with your attorney. And an attorney who gives you a realistic and likely version of the options in court may be difficult to listen to, but is also someone working in your best interest.
Clients are also concerned about what their divorce will cost. That’s a good question and one that needs to be answered truthfully. An attorney who is realistic will be less expensive than someone who promises the moon, knowing that’s not a likely outcome. Having an attorney who will work with you, discuss reasonable options, and provide you with solid legal advice, is someone you need in such an emotional and difficult time.