In my practice I often hear that clients are looking for a “fighter”, for a “bulldog” lawyer, who will be aggressive and tough about standing up for your rights. I get it. Emotions run high in divorce and often a person's first reaction is to want to dig in deep or to get revenge in an interest of self-protection and well deserved self-interest. While everyone wants a lawyer that will help them meet their goals does retaining a lawyer who is “fighter” really make sense for you and your family? If you are a divorcing parent, do you really want a bulldog advising you on how best to co-parent and how to empower your children through this process.
Lack of Transparency: If you get all of the pie then your spouse gets none right? The problem with this view is that it simply isn't realistic with regard to what the court is likely to award. Fighter attorneys want to fan the flames, and paint a picture to you of a best case scenario (getting the whole pie). At best this is failing to warn you of the reality of divorce and at worst it is actively encouraging false expectations.
Ineffective Communication: Tough lawyers that use name calling, harassment, and bullying are just not effective communicators. This tactic creates hostility and causes people to get defensive which means they are likely to go into a winner-take-all approach as well. 9 times out of 10 you can catch more flies with honey and your “tough” attorney may be causing you to lose out on some of that pie by taking this approach. What's more, if they are not good at communicating, that means they likely aren't working well with opposing counsel, your ex, or even with you.
Escalating Cost: Digging in your heals and fighting the good fight is going to cost you a lot of money, and guess what, that “tough” attorney knows this. The legal system can be expensive, between court costs, attorney's fees and all that paperwork. Revenge might feel good in the short term, but it is going to hurt your bottom line in the long run. Chasing that “win” at all costs isn't a “win” when it ends up costing more in fees than it is worth.
To help you find a family law lawyer who will advocate strongly for your rights while using a more educated approach, please contact Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC for a free consultation. For more information about collaborative divorce or mediation please visit our website.