What if I don’t trust my lawyer’s advice on the divorce?
Having an attorney represent you in a divorce is always the best way to get a desirable outcome from your divorce. Keep in mind this means “as desirable as possible,” given that no one on earth ever married hoping to get divorced months or years later. Someone going through a divorce is someone going through something akin to a death. You mourn. You bargain with God. You become angry. All of the negative emotions are there and at first it can seem that there aren’t any positive outcomes to be had from a divorce. It’s natural for clients of divorce attorneys to disagree with their divorce attorneys at times.
An attorney can very easily review the legal facts of the case, know the law very well, and determine the best course of action for their client. What they often don’t take into account is that a client still cares very much for the person that they’re getting divorced from. Attorneys think with only their logical mind while divorce clients think in terms of both logic and compassion for the other person going through the divorce. This can make for some very confusing times for divorce attorneys and their clients.
What if you don’t agree with your attorney?
There might be some things that your divorce attorney advises you to do that you simply don’t agree with. For example, you might feel that you’re asking for too much child support because you’re aware that your spouse will experience financial hardship if they pay that much. So you might disagree on how much child support to ask for. Alimony is another possible issue of contention. You might not want to seek alimony payments even though your lawyer tells you that it’s in your best interest to do so.
Here’s the golden rule: This is YOUR divorce. You don’t have to take the direction of your attorney even if you’re 100% sure that they’re doing the right thing for you and that you could reasonably expect to get the outcome that they say you will. If you reach a point of disagreement, don’t immediately rule out the advice of the attorney. With some thought, your thinking might finally align itself with the thinking of your attorney. If so, you move forward as the attorney advises. If your thinking remains the same, you are always free to ignore the advice of your attorney.
In the above example, someone decides not to pursue alimony payments even though their attorney advises them that they are not only entitled to them but might need them in the future. While the attorney is doing the right thing for his client by advising them to seek alimony, the client may decide not to because they want a clean break from their partner, free of any financial ties or anything else. In this case, the client is making the right decision for themselves emotionally. They’re making a decision that they can live with. This doesn’t mean you have to hire a new attorney or let it keep you from having a smooth divorce from that point forward. In many ways, you’ll find yourself working very closely with a divorce attorney and it’s important that they respect your wishes while still informing you of all your rights in the divorce.