Divorce is a difficult situation to find yourself in; one that you didn’t walk into your marriage expecting to be faced with. Having a family lawyer who cares and understands this reality can be your saving grace during this time.
Watch for Red Flags
To know whether your family lawyer is treating your situation as “just another case” on the books, watch for red flags that could indicate a need to look for alternate options:
- Is your family lawyer responsive?
If you feel like you’re having to constantly hunt down your attorney to get them to reply to your emails, calls, texts, etc., that’s a problem. You should be able to expect them to initiate regular updates on your case and provide prompt responses to your communications. Some of the situations you’ll be dealing with will be time sensitive, and you need to be able to trust that your family lawyer cares enough to ensure your best interests are tended to in a timely manner.
- Is your family lawyer kind?
When you feel at your worst, it can be easy to feel like you’re climbing your way uphill, carrying an enormously heavy burden on your shoulders. However, with the right family lawyer by your side, you can have some relief from the weight. You become a team, working together to get the best results for your case. Your family lawyer is not your therapist. However, they should be there to help you adjust to what will be your new reality from a legal standpoint.
- Is your family lawyer helpful?
Your attorney should feel firmly on your side. Often, this looks like compassion, understanding, and strong listening skills. These are essential characteristics of a family lawyer who cares about your current stressful circumstances and is willing to help you through them. However, this does not give you the right to take advantage of their graciousness. In order for them to be able to make a difference for you, you must be willing to accept their help and heed their advice.
- Is your family lawyer keeping up?
It can be challenging for anyone to balance workloads sometimes. However, your case is not any less important than any other case your family lawyer is responsible for. They have a duty to you to keep up with the paperwork – forms, documents, payments, etc. – that are a necessary piece of the process. They should be organized, efficient, and attentive, ensuring that every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ is crossed. If they are or become forgetful or sloppy, they may have too many cases on their plate to give you the level of professional, thorough care that you should be receiving.
Communication is Key
One way that you can identify if your family lawyer cares about you – not just your resulting fee – is whether they are willing to take the time to listen to your needs and be honest and direct with you in return. Communication is a key component of any quality relationship. The relationship you are forging with your family lawyer is no exception. For this reason, you must be willing and able to have the difficult conversations that are part and parcel of the whole divorce proceeding.
If you have questions, ask them.
If money becomes an issue, bring it up.
If you are needing help working through the custody arrangements, talk about it.
If you feel that your family lawyer is not treating your case as a matter of careful priority, say so.
And if you find your current attorney arrangements such that you need to find new representation that will give your unique situation and needs the attention and care that you deserve, call the Alabama Law Group.