You’ve Hired a Lawyer for Your Divorce.  What Should You Expect from your Divorce Lawyer?

You called several law offices and met with several attorneys to find one that is a good match for your goals and needs in your divorce.  Then, when you found the right lawyer, you hired that one.  What should you expect from your lawyer? You should expect your divorce lawyer to get information from you, be available and be accessible.

Information Seeking – In the beginning of your case, you should expect your lawyer and her staff to ask you to provide quite a bit of information and ask you questions.  Some of the questions will be general and some of the questions will be detailed and personal.  Your lawyer needs to get this information to make a plan, start the case and file the pleadings required in the beginning of your case.  Sometimes you and your lawyer will be filing the first pleadings of the divorce and it is important for your lawyer to get to know your goals and how you want to approach the case from the very beginning.  For example, if you and your spouse have agreed a divorce is the only option and you both agreed to hire attorneys and work it out then you probably don’t need a Temporary Restraining Order and a hearing and your lawyer wants to know that.

Available – Your lawyer and her staff should be available to answer your questions and provide information to you.  Your lawyer should understand that this is possibly a stressful and emotional time for you, and certainly it is a time for a lot of changes.  Your lawyer should be available by email or telephone to answer those questions that only your lawyer can answer.  Also, your lawyer’s staff should be available for some of the lesser questions you may have.  For example, if you are wondering if you should email a document or hand-deliver it to your lawyer’s office, the paralegal should be available to discuss this with you.

Accessible – Your lawyer should be available to talk with you about your concerns, questions, the plan for the case and any issues as they arise.  Now, that being said, lawyers aren’t in the office every day of the week due to hearings, meetings and mediations.  So, being available should include having the option to schedule a call with your lawyer when she is going to return to the office if she is in trial or in mediation.  It can also include having a staff member contact you and let you know that your email or voicemail was received, and let you know when you should expect a return call and what your other options may be to contact your lawyer.

Every divorce is unique.  Consider these tips education and not advice as you journey through your divorce.

Jill O’Connell