During our more than 90 years as matrimonial lawyers, too often we have had clients who show no interest in being helpful or doing the things that they need to do in order to achieve the best possible result.
The following is a list of some things a client must do for their lawyer, and ultimately for himself or herself, in a family law matter.
- Be honest with your lawyer. We are unable to help our clients if they are not truthful with us. It is better for us to know any difficult issues at the outset of the case than to learn about them later from the other party or another source. We are here to help. We need to know everything. Hiding relevant facts, good or bad, only inures to the client's detriment.
- Provide timely responses to our questions and requests for documents. When we ask our clients for information, it is because we need it in order to properly prepare the case. We need these pieces of information promptly. A delay of one or two weeks could negatively impact the matter.
- Make your case a priority. Your divorce is likely to be one of the most important financial and personal events in your life. How you proceed will affect the relationship you have with your children, your finances and your future. If you will not treat your divorce matter as a priority, then it becomes difficult for your attorney to do the same. Parties and counsel need to work together in order to obtain the desired result.
- Don't ask friends for advice. Friends mean to be helpful, but they do not have the experience and education to properly advise you with respect to your divorce. Too often we have clients relay their friend's divorce experiences or settlements and try to use those events as a blueprint for their own matter. Every case is different, and it is imperative to choose your lawyer's advice over that of your friends. Thank friends for their concerns, but end it there. If you have chosen your divorce lawyer carefully, he or she is the only person you should be listening to. It is also better to keep your situation private, as it is no one else's business.
- Don't use your children as pawns. Don't use your children to try to extract financial concessions from your spouse. You owe it to your children to work with your spouse and responsibly co-parent. The children should be kept out of the divorce mix as much as possible.
There are of course other actions to take or not to take, but the five listed above are a great start.
Make an appointment with Siegel & Kaufman, P.C., by calling our office at 203-326-5145 or using our online contact form. Our flexible office hours provide the convenience you need. We are prepared to provide the counsel you need.