April 12, 2019
Most people know divorce is a process, and it can be a complicated and expensive one at times, whether it is handled inside the courtroom or mediation. The divorce process, however, can be easier and better for people with the right preparation and knowledge.
The Dorsey Law Firm wanted to share some things divorce lawyers wish couples and people knew before reaching out to a lawyer or starting the divorce process. The below tips can be really helpful in making the process go more smoothly for you, your partner, and your lawyer.
Your attorney is an attorney not a therapist – When you go through a divorce, we understand a lot of emotions are involved. We respect your thoughts and feelings. However, divorce attorneys do not have the background, training, or skills to help you work through your emotions – you are not hiring an attorney for this reason. It’s in your best interest to talk to family, friends, or schedule an appointment with a therapist to talk things out. It’s also best not to keep your lawyer around longer than needed… you’ll rack up a bill!
Organization is key – By being organized, you will help you lawyer and yourself start and run through the process more easily and faster, which will save you money. You should sort out all of your paperwork in chronological order, labeled, and even type a summary of your documentation. Otherwise, you are paying your lawyer to sort through your paperwork, which can be a waste of time can money.
Be prepared – Your attorney will let you know what documents are needed. Show up with these documents. If you aren’t prepared, work will be delayed. If paperwork is missing, your attorney can’t do his/her job as well for you. If your attorney says he/she needs something, do your best to get it to them! You want the best outcome for yourself.
Be honest with your lawyer – It is ultimately not in your best interest to lie to your lawyer. He/she needs all the facts to do the job well and right. Don’t omit. Don’t exaggerate. Don’t minimize. Etc. Etc. Tell the truth, and your attorney will work hard to get you the best results, especially when there are no surprises (from any lies).
Admit When You Don’t Know Something – You didn’t go to law school. You aren’t a practicing divorce lawyer. Divorce lawyers don’t expect you to know everything or even anything about the divorce process, so speak up if you don’t understand something. You and your lawyer need to be on the same page for things to move forward and work in your favor.
Reveal it all – It’s no secret that divorce lawyers have heard lots of things from their clients. It’s your job to reveal all important and relatable details to the case. Don’t worry about being embarrassed – everything is strictly professional, and likely, your attorney has heard worse.
Be upfront about what you want out of the divorce – Let your attorney know right off the bat what your goal is. Do you want a certain property? What’s your custody stance for your children? You want to win things you actually want.
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No one wants to go through the divorce process – it isn’t the easiest, and (obviously) not fun. If you come prepared, listen, be honest, manage expectations, and work with your divorce attorney, you will have a better experience.
At Dorsey Law Firm, we are knowledgeable in divorce and family law in Jacksonville and we will do our best work for you. We will stand by your side and give you the best legal advice possible. Our firm provides aggressive and expert representation for our clients to achieve the best outcome.
William J. Dorsey founded the Dorsey Law Firm in 1975 and has practiced family law and tried numerous trials throughout Florida in state and federal courts. The law firm also practices criminal law and personal injury law.
Dorsey and his team work with clients through every step of the divorce process. To request an in-person consultation at The Dorsey Law Firm’s Jacksonville Law Office, call 904-346-3883 or click our Jacksonville Divorce Attorney page for more information. The law firm has represented clients in Duval, Clay, St. Johns, and Nassau Counties, and has tried cases throughout all of Florida.