A Lesson in the Obvious

Dear Client:

Let’s have a quick lesson in the obvious. Lawyers get paid by the hour. More time equals more money. That’s why you should not waste time or money asking your attorney questions that only you can answer.

Here is an example: Should I file for custody of my children?

Your lawyer doesn’t know your children. He or she doesn’t know what is in your children’s best interest. Your attorney can advise you about the custody laws in your state. She can advise you regarding your chances of winning custody and can develop your case and present it to the judge She can give you guidance on your rights as a parent.

What she can’t tell you is whether you should file a custody case. She can’t tell you what type of arrangement will work best for your children.

Would you consult your attorney about what college your child should attend? Would you consult your attorney about the curfew you should impose on your children? Would you consult your attorney about what religion you should bring your children up in? Would you consult your attorney about at which age you should allow your children to begin dating?

Of course not.

So, why would you allow an attorney to decide whether you should pursue custody?

Okay, here is another example of a question only you can answer:

Should I divorce my spouse?

This is not a question you should ask your lawyer. This is a question you may need to ask your spouse. This a question you may need to ask your spiritual advisor. This is a question you may need to ask your mother or your best friend.

This is a question you need to ask yourself.

You can tell your lawyer the circumstances of your break-up: Who did what, who didn’t do what, who left, who stayed, who said what and what was left unsaid.

And based on the circumstances or the facts that you share with your lawyer she can assess your situation. She can tell you what your rights and obligations are, what you can expect if you go to court, and the consequences of your decisions to leave the marriage. She can share with you what she expects will happen if you go to court.

Here’s what your lawyer can’t do:

Assuming there is no domestic violence, she can’t tell you whether you should end your marriage. That is personal decision. You should consult with the same people about ending your marriage that you consulted when you decided to get married: your parents, your friends, your spiritual advisor.

You are an adult and no one has the right to tell you what you should do. You have to trust your own instincts about whether or not you should exercise your right to end your marriage.

You have to decide whether you can live with the financial consequences of ending your marriage or staying in your marriage. You have to decide whether you can live with the emotional consequences of ending your marriage or staying in your marriage. You have to decide whether you can live with coming home to an empty house every night or whether you can live with coming home to a raving lunatic.

Only you can answer the question as to what hurts most: the thought of living with your spouse or the thought of living without your spouse.

This is an excerpt from Letters to a New Divorce Client Download a copy below:
Letters to a New Divorce Client

Photo Credit: Visual Hunt

Posted in Letters to a New Divorce Client.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.