Finding a good attorney for your family law needs can be a challenge. Just as every attorney is unique, so is every client and every case. Almost every case has one or more weaknesses. Even if you are fortunate enough to have the rare situation where all of the law and all of the facts line up, that does not mean that you will be happy with the process, and the pace that things move through the courts. Even if you have all the time in the world, you probably don’t have all the money in the world.
So what’s the point we’re getting at? Here it is, plain and simple – almost every family law case has some bad news. The only exception is a case where the parties all agree regarding what should happen, and they simply need an attorney to represent one of the parties, (it would be a conflict of interest for one attorney to represent all of the parties) draft the paperwork and get the court order or child support enforcement agency (CSEA) order they need. When you meet with an attorney, if you aren’t hearing any bad news, and your case is contested, then maybe you need to discuss the matter a little more. Your case is the sum of the good news and the bad news. You should talk about both before you begin, and make a decision with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. You cannot help your attorney with your case if you don’t understand the strengths and weaknesses.
You may have a situation where your children’s life has become intolerable, but the financial cost and legal risk of going back to court seems unbearable too. In that case, you need to sit down with an attorney that will answer your questions, in plain English, and give you the information you need to choose between a rock and a hard place. A good attorney will give you that information, and then it’s up to you to take that information regarding the law, the discretion the court has in your situation, and work with your attorney to make the best decision. At the end of the day, it’s your life, and you are going to have to live with it.
Beyond just getting the straight skinny on the good and bad news, you need to pick an attorney that you can talk to, and one that talks to you. Clients have a right to know what is going on in their case and be involved in the decisions. If you feel like your attorney is not treating you with respect, you either need to discuss it with your attorney and solve the problem, or find another attorney. If your family law attorney cannot treat other attorneys with some respect as well, then you are more likely to pay higher legal fees and less likely to achieve what you want without an expensive trial and the risk of letting a judge decide your case without your participation. If your attorney’s approach is keeping you from settling your case, it might be time for you to deliver some bad news of your own. If you’re concerned, talk to your attorney about it.
Is every all or nothing with your lawyer? Is that attitude coming from you as well? That can be a risky and expensive approach. Sometimes, with the help of your attorneys, you and the other party can agree on a few small issues, but the larger issues remain contested. Guess what? You can put on an Agreed Entry regarding the one or two things, and save both parties a bunch of money. Guess what else? Agreeing on little decisions often leads to agreeing on bigger decisions. Maybe you do have some legitimate deal breakers, some issues that you cannot meet in the middle on. You can still narrow down the issues.
For example, perhaps you cannot agree who should pay child support or how much it should be. That does not mean that you cannot stipulate regarding each party’s income, cost of health insurance or any other issues that you have investigated and have no legitimate dispute about. Why not turn a five day trial into a one day trial and save both parties a ton of money? Unfortunately, some attorneys cannot accept this approach. If this is something that makes sense to you, but not to your family law or Utah custody attorney, you may have a problem. Perhaps you should have this discussion at your first meeting with your attorney to make sure that you see eye to eye on this issue. It’s important, really important.
Divorce News Update February 2018
There is a new story that has developed about the Utah State Legislature lowering the waiting period from 90 days in Utah, down to 30 days. Click here to read the article. As a divorce lawyer, I would really would like to see this happen because it would speed up divorces and we could give our clients better and faster results.
Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah
If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506