Family law attorneys want to help our clients, but if we’re totally honest, it can sometimes feel like herding a large group of cats during a hail storm while being attacked by rabid geese who just happen to be guarding their nests. Too far? You get the idea. The point is, family lawyers are professionals who specialize in matters of family law; they do not exist to manage your time for you, respond to midnight text messages, or provide/organize therapeutic services. Would you like your divorce process to go as smoothly as possible? Here are 12 tips that will save both you and your attorney a lot of time and frustration.
- Keep A Journal. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about a dream journal or a pink sparkly one for all your Dawson’s Creek-inspired hopes and dreams. Family lawyers recommend keeping a journal to record any important dates or occurrences relevant to your case. For example, if your ex (let’s call him Jimmy) sets fire to your entire russian nesting doll collection, write that mess down and
get sweet, sweet revengereport back to your lawyer. Also, keep your journal as secure as a romanian handshake (and no, a little heart and key set from Barnes & Noble won’t cut it).
- Organize Everything. In the event that you want RECEIPTS in the form of screenshots or e-mails (trust me, you will), pretty please with a cherry on top organize them by date.
- Avoid Google Law Degrees. In the same way that people Google their symptoms and take their findings to their family doctor, clients often research things on their own and forward their attorney case laws that they “think might help.” Similarly, people will also talk to their besties in California about what happened in their divorce case and try to draw parallels that just don’t exist. HOW ABOUT NO. How about you take the nopecoaster all the way to the town of Letmedomyjob and ask for advice instead of giving it.
- Tell The WHOLE Truth (And Nothing But The Truth). You can hire the most qualified lawyer on Earth, but if you don’t tell them the whole truth, your secrets can explode in your face faster than an overbaked Totino’s pizza roll. I know it’s uncomfortable to share the sordid details of your failed marriage, but without all the facts, we’re playing with a half a deck of cards. To see a comprehensive list of what you should be sharing with your lawyer, click here.
- Keep It To Yourself. We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again. Keep your private life private, Susan, and don’t blast your personal matters all over social media. We’re not just talking about ripping your ex a new one on Facebook, either (or other obvious no-nos). Even a cute picture of you with your new boo could be incriminating if you’re involved in litigation.
- Leave The Squad At Home. Everyone likes a big support system, but meetings between you and your lawyer should be private. In other words, don’t bring your girlfriend, sister, brother, father, mother, aunt, uncle, cousins, niece/nephew, and your drinking buddy to meetings with your attorney (and please, don’t put them on speakerphone).
- Avoid Email Overload. This one is super simple: don’t send 100,000,000 emails on the same email thread within a 3-hour time span.
- Get Some Help (But Not From Me). Your attorney has many talents, but they are NOT qualified to perform check-ups from the neck-ups. Therapists exist for a reason!
- Provide Documentation When First Requested. Um, there’s really nothing else to say.
- Meet Deadlines. Use a calendar to keep track of court dates and monitor and comply with deadlines.
- Communication Is Key. Please
don’t send your attorney text messages at midnighttake note of your attorney’s preferred method of communication before you reach out to him/her.
- Questions About Billing? Just Ask! If at any point you have questions about billing, just ask! No need to kick up a fuss with your attorney or his/her paralegal.
Ready to take these tips to heart? Book an appointment today!