Finding the Right Divorce Lawyer

Very often by the time a divorce is over, the spouses end up hating not only the other party’s lawyer but his or her own. That’s because the divorce action itself in one very sharp blade in the emotional meat grinder of a marital collapse.

Divorce litigation, unlike other types of civil litigation, carries with it considerations that make selecting a lawyer very difficult, even as the consequences of selecting a bad lawyer are drastic. Unlike other types of litigation, divorce litigations allows for a concept of fundamental fairness in the distribution of a couple’s marital estate, and judges recognize that the letter of the law must be applied in the context of a human event of considerable pain and suffering for all involved.

Some people, reeling from the pain and suffering of a separation, hire attack dog lawyers whose cutthroat, no-holds-barred tactics have given them a reputation in a given community. These are the lawyers who believe in the attack, who badmouth the client’s spouse, and who promise victory even before the action has begun. When the client’s spouse also retains an attack dog lawyer, the odds increase dramatically that the case, which might have been settled through joint negotiation, will now end in a divorce trial, the worst possible outcome for a couple ending a marriage. There is no doubt that bad lawyering in divorce actions draws out the process even as it increases the cost because bad lawyering always mean unnecessary lawyering, not to mention the emotion wear and tear of all litigation.

Divorce books contain checklists of objective considerations in hiring a divorce lawyer. Generally, considering a family law specialist is a good first step. But a lawyer who takes the high road, one who is assertive without being aggressive, is a far better bet than a hired gun who will willingly turn the action into a bloodbath.

If a person hires a lawyer who, while mindful and attentive of his or her client’s interests, also works to try to bring the action to settlement outside of the courtroom, who treats his client and client’s spouse respectfully and who is mindful of the welfare of the children, the divorce can move forward with less cost and less anguish.

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