Every January and February, family law attorneys meet a lot of prospective new clients. It is my opinion that the New Year brings about the desire for action and change. January has even been dubbed as “Divorce Month.” Whatever is the reason and regardless of the time of year, people who face divorce or custody disputes have many questions, but the following two questions are asked most consistently:
- What’s Next? This question refers to how to move forward with the legal proceeding. I find that clients are looking for a strategy, a road map to starting the process with an eye to the conclusion. It is my point of view that a lawyer should be able to give a prospective client a broad road map – a strategy – at the conclusion of the initial consultation.
- Will I be Okay? The answer to this question is usually “yes,” but there are many factors that go into a client being “okay” after a divorce or custody case. No doubt, hiring a good lawyer is important. But, possibly even more important is the need for the client to take responsibility for their own future. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, making wise financial decisions about the divorce and legal process; seeking individual therapy to manage the emotions which understandably accompany a family law matter; working to reduce conflict with the other party in the legal proceeding; staying focused on the best interest of the children; focusing on long range goals; and working with legal and financial professionals to assist in the establishment of the client’s future post-divorce.
Every family law matter – whether divorce or custody –raises lots of questions, but a client’s needs to understand the future and how to get there are no doubt the most important.