Whether you have finally decided to file for divorce or your spouse has just had you served with papers, the next step is to select your lawyer. You are scorned and upset and you want an attorney that will fight to the bitter end for every penny, no matter what the cost. Whether it is your assets or your kids, you want an attorney that will be aggressive, unrelenting and strong. An attorney that will fight for what you want and not stop no matter what the financial or emotional cost. You have to ask yourself, though, is this really what you want?
There are many attorneys that will fit into this mold and take advantage of your vulnerable situation. When selecting an attorney you need to make sure you have an attorney who is not only a tough advocate but also an attorney who will advise and counsel you. Too often the aggressive “pitbull” attorney will fight without knowing what exactly he or she is fighting for. In a tenuous situation, such as a divorce, parties need to stay focused on the final goal and make sure that goal is realistic. A fight just to fight may result in additional trauma to you, your kids and your pocketbook.
When searching for the right attorney you need to find an attorney who understands the law and will not lead you astray with unrealistic expectations. Attorneys who are willing to zealously advocate for your position, but are strong enough to advise you when your position will not provide you with the result for which you seek. Too often litigants and their attorneys who take too strong arm approach to divorce negotiations which only ends up backfiring. The cost may be more than you can afford.
A good attorney is going to understand your goals, guide your expectations and help facilitate a settlement. A good attorney is going to understand when a settlement is not possible and it is time to prepare for litigation. So when looking for that “aggressive attorney” make sure that the aggressiveness does not come at the expense of placement with your kids or their college education fund.
-Rebecca K. Millenbach