We took a call from a distraught potential client the other day: “I told my lawyer that my wife and I were pretty much in agreement about everything, that we didn’t want to fight and I didn’t see any reason to go to war over everything. We just needed a lawyer to draft the paperwork. But then I got served. My wife said she didn’t know anything about it, but a hearing was set for a week later, and I was terrified and angry. Our lawyers started fighting, and both of us were paying thousands of dollars for work we didn’t want. How did this happen?”
To understand what happened to that caller…. you must understand that a traditional divorce lawyer’s job is to advocate for you. In other words, you pay a traditional divorce lawyer to fight for you, not necessarily listen to you or your spouse. Traditional divorce attorneys are paid to push others in your case in the direction that you instruct them to push. This talk (not listen) approach to litigation can quickly lead clients down a path towards costly litigation.
A divorce mediators role is to listen to both sides in an attempt to find common ground. Understand…there are times when a divorce attorney can be helpful. Divorce lawyers can help you come up with a winning strategy, advise you as to the laws that protect you and support you when you make a decision. Most divorces involve at least one divorce lawyer to assure documents are filed correctly. But it is you, the client, who should be giving your lawyer direction and it is you who should be setting goals for yourself and your family. Although it is always tempting when feeling overwhelmed to turn over the reins of your divorce to your divorce lawyer, that decision often leads to expensive and protracted litigation.
At Leibenguth Law, we are anything but traditional. We are concerned about your personal needs as well as those of your family. We make the deal happen!