Choosing the right attorney to handle your family law matter can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Knowing what "type" of attorney to choose (and not to choose) can make the process easier on you and can result in a faster, better outcome. Consider the following article by Victor J. Medina on this topic:
I recently fielded a phone call from a business colleague who told me that she had referred me to a friend for matrimonial work. She mentioned that when she was getting a divorce she found that her attorney became too adversarial and impeded the progress of the divorce. She told me that, from her perspective, the divorce attorneys were making it about themselves and not about the clients.
I cringe when I hear that kind of story. One of the hallmarks of our practice is that the client and his/her needs are at the forefront of our minds when dealing with the case. I’ve often told many clients in an initial interview that I have no ego in the case. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve swallowed insult after insinuation about me and my firm because retaliation would have been counterproductive. This type of pliability in a negotiation is necessary because the goal is more important than maintaining ground in the ego game.
I also often have clients come in asking “Are you a fighter? I need a bulldog on this…” or “I really need someone who is collaborative…can you work with my ex’s attorney?” – I usually respond, kindly, that (1) yes, our firm can be all those things and (2) at this point, I’m not sure anyone knows what they’ll need in a divorce. A general way to state it is that they’ll need an attorney who can respond to the situation and can be what the circumstances warrant. I think there are a select few attorneys who can do that – at least in what I’ve encountered on the other side of the table. Most attorneys have one mode and have a reputation for being one thing. Those are the easiest attorneys to deal with (even the screamers) because you know what you’re getting from then and they’re rarely creative in their approach. That is, I almost never have to worry about not seeing the next move coming because it’s all so predictable. On the other hand, the crafty attorney is the one that never approaches the situation from the same angle. I’m on my toes with those attorneys because, having practiced that way myself, I know how crafty they can be.
The short of it is this – when you look for a divorce attorney or someone to handle your post-divorce family law matters, such as custody or support enforcement, seek out those attorneys for whom flexibility is a hallmark. In any divorce “battle”, you may need air strikes, sea power, diplomacy or a combination of four other things. If you restrict yourself to an attorney or law firm that specializes in air power with all the latest bombers, you’ll be vulnerable to the ground attack and may not avoid war altogether.
Was the war analogy too much? Just trying to get the point across.
Source: "Choosing a Divorce Attorney – Flexibility is Key" by Victor J. Medina, published at the
New Jersey Divorce & Family Law blog.
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