Massachusetts Legal Blog
Working Effectively With Your Divorce Attorney
Divorce is a stressful, often complicated process, and your attorney will be your guide and advocate for as long as it takes. You can make things easier for both of you by following a few basic tenets for working successfully with your Methuen divorce attorney:
Keep your expectations realistic. Your attorney cannot perform miracles. He or she must work within Massachusetts law regarding issues with property division, child custody and child support, spousal support…all of the factors involved with splitting up a household. You may be surprised at how some laws work; for example, the division of property in a divorce must be equitable—which is not the same as “equal,” so the division is not necessarily 50/50. There are limits to what your lawyer can “get” for you, and keeping realistic expectations means understanding the limits under Massachusetts divorce law. If you have concerns, ask for explanations and clarification.
Provide information in a timely manner. It might be tempting to not disclose certain things (like a second source of income) or to avoid doing the work necessary to locate particular records. Don’t give in to these temptations! Your attorney cannot do his or her job effectively without having the relevant facts; it’s your job to deliver everything that’s requested without delay.
Have a plan for communication. Remember that your attorney cannot be available to you 24 hours a day, and the communication you do have—in person, through text/email or by phone—are often recognized as billable hours. It’s essential for you to understand your lawyer’s fee structure and expectations for the frequency and method(s) of communication. Asking these questions before you begin working with your divorce attorney can save you confusion or frustration throughout the process.
Trust your attorney to do the job. This might seem obvious, but often persons going through a divorce experience anxiety due to feeling a loss of control, and can easily overstep boundaries, trying to “manage” the outcome. You’ve hired your attorney for a reason: he knows Massachusetts divorce law and has the experience to accurately and effectively represent your interests. As difficult as it may be, take a step back, and allow your attorney to do the job.
Follow these simple steps and you can reduce your stress level significantly, making matters a bit simpler for you and your lawyer.
Don’t have a Divorce Attorney? Find the one who’s right for you and your unique situation. The DiBella Law Offices, located in Boston, Methuen and Burlington serve all of Massachusetts as well as southern New Hampshire. Our Family Law experts have the most current knowledge of state alimony reforms, same-sex divorce and a host of other issues affecting you. If you have questions or would like a free consultation, please contact us.
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