I spend a great deal of my time consulting with prospective divorce clients. Just as they are interviewing me to determine if they believe I am the right divorce lawyer for them to hire, I’m also interviewing them to determine whether they are the right type of client for my firm.
The dirty little secret of divorce law is that, with the exception of complex divorce cases, nearly any lawyer who dedicates their practice to divorce law will likely provide the same advice, counsel and result to their client as nearly any other lawyer who dedicates their practice to divorce law. There aren’t any divorce lawyers out there with a magic wand that can magically make your spouse want to take all of the debt and give you all the assets, and there isn’t a divorce lawyer who can use the force to jedi mind trick your spouse’s attorney into giving you everything you want. Instead, most divorce cases follow a similar path and have a result which is relatively predictable to most experienced divorce attorneys.
Simply speaking, nearly all competent attorneys who focus their practice in divorce law will do roughly the same job for their client. Sure, some may do it quicker or more slowly, some less or more expensive, and some louder or more reserved, but the results typically will be relatively the same. This type of case becomes what I call “The Case of Personality”. In cases like this, since the result obtainable by most dedicated divorce lawyers is similar, a client should focus on finding an attorney whose personality, style of approach and method of practice best reflect their wishes. A comfortable working relationship, communication and trust is paramount in “The Case of Personality” for both the client and the attorney, and a prospective client should take great care in finding the right personality match for them. This will help progress the case to a faster and less expensive resolution, and also does so in a somewhat more pleasant way -at least as pleasant as divorce cases can be.
In addition to determining whether there is a personality match between client and lawyer, I discussed other issues and questions in a previous posting How To Find The Best Divorce Lawyer For You. For example, a client should understand the attorney’s fee structure and how they are billed and should inquire if that lawyer charges for travel time to court, routine telephone calls and emails.
As result, when consulting with a divorce attorney it is important for a prospective client to not just focus on the advice given by that attorney but also to strongly consider whether that particular attorney is a personality match for them. Frankly, much of the advice given will be identical with the advice given by any other lawyer who focuses their practice in divorce law. The personality is what is different, and what makes all the difference.