You've Hired an Attorney, Now What?
When you hire an attorney, it is not uncommon that you may feel a little lost or not know what your next move is. Every case is different, but generally, there are a few things that remain the same for all of them. Cases move along better if you help your attorney, are completely honest, keep it in perspective and treat the divorce like it’s going to impact the rest of your life…because it will.
Help your attorney by finding needed records and documents, journaling events and occurrences, gather witnesses' names to support your case. All of these things will help your attorney provide appropriate legal guidance and build a better case. Taking care of these things on the front end not only helps your case but will save you some attorney’s fees. I recommend that my clients start a “divorce file” to keep every document, note, printed email, and anything that could have an effect on your divorce or child custody proceedings. Even if you don’t think you will need it, you probably will. Keep everything!
It is hard to admit mistakes and regrets, especially to someone that you don’t know very well. Always remember everything is confidential between you and your attorney unless, of course, there is a safety concern or you agree to allow the information to be released to support your case. You must be completely honest with him or her so that your attorney is aware of everything – the good, bad, ugly, and everything in between. Trust me, we have heard it all and it is not our job to judge. What we don’t like are surprises. There is nothing worse than showing up to court and the other party having evidence or information about my client that I have not been made aware of.
Perspective is everything. I have been a family law attorney for many years and I can tell you that people get fixated on the craziest of things. Again, I am not judging, but it is my job to make sure that we keep things real and focused on the more vital issues that will have a long-term impact on you and your children. My mom always told me to “pick my battles.” I have used that advice throughout my personal life and I often advise my clients to do the same. Is the outdoor patio furniture really worth it? If it is, let’s do it and fight for it, but if it’s not let’s use our energy fighting for spousal support or additional visitation time with your kids. Try to look past feelings of vengeance in order to work out a fair settlement between you and your spouse.
If it is necessary to go to court, you must put all emotions aside and be professional, responsible, and focused. Treat your divorce as a business transaction. It seems like a cold and non-compassionate way to think of a marriage ending, but in the end, it boils down to negotiating for things that will have an impact on the rest of your life and your children’s lives.
We at Kevin Hickey Law Partners like to give all our clients the unique care and attention they deserve. We absolutely expect clients to be emotional and that is quite understandable because your life is about to have major changes. However, we also recommend that you seek a trained therapist to help you sort through your feelings and give you tools to aid you in learning to cope with those feelings. As your attorney, our job is to give you the best possible legal representation. Putting an emotional problem like a divorce or child custody in a trusted expert’s hands can be a huge relief to you. Give Kevin Hickey Law Partners a call today to start building and supporting your case.