How To Best Use Your Lawyer

Divorce cases can be expensive.   Getting it right, the first time, necessitates a quality lawyer be utilized.  When looking at the cost, the key then is the latter part of that statement- necessitates a quality lawyer be utilized.  Some clients think that they can keep their costs down by limiting communication with his/her lawyer.   This often backfires, as the client does not get advice from their lawyer in advance of taking action, resulting in the client blindly acting without being fully informed of the potential consequences, just to have to pay the attorney substantial time to clean up the resulting mess.  Similarly, a lawyer who is not kept updated and informed by the client can be blindsided by allegations from the other side, and catch up and associated costs are required.  Other clients hold back regular updates, crucial in parental responsibilities actions in particular, and only provide to the lawyer before a hearing approaches.  This strategy results in catch up fees, sorting through the case’s strengths and weaknesses too late in the process, and realizing actions that the client took without advance advice potentially hurting the case.  Then there is a category of client that

There is a better way.  The lawyer should be utilized.  “Utilized” means:

Get a good understanding from the lawyer as to what kinds of decisions or actions could possibly impact the case.

  1. Confer with the lawyer in advance as to any decisions or actions that could possibly impact the case.
  2. Update the attorney regularly as to the status of the pending issues, including new facts.
  3. Update in a timely and organized fashion.
  4. Tell the attorney right away if an action or decision occurred that may have a negative connotation.
  5. Timely respond to the lawyer’s or the lawyer’s staff’s queries and requests for information.
  6. Compile and organize as much information requested of you yourself, and provide to the lawyer at one time, not piecemeal or haphazard.
  7. Tell your attorney everything.  Last minute surprises can be the most expensive.
  8. Ask questions – understand the process, the issues, the standards, what is needed of you and why.

With these tips, a client can best use their lawyer, in the most efficient way, and increase their chances at success.

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