When making any major life decision, always get a second opinion!
A lawyer should explain the various divorce options available for obtaining that final judgment. But lawyers are human. They have biases. They make mistakes. They want to make money. Always get a second opinion before choosing an attorney. But once you do retain counsel, take his/her advice!
Most attorneys prefer a certain process, like litigation, mediation, or collaboration. A trial attorney may not understand that she should explain all divorce process options to you so that you can choose the best alternative for you. And if she is not collaboratively-trained, she won’t be able to effectively explain that process.
It is important to understand all of your options, so it is best to interview several attorneys. Further, attorneys have different personalities. Some are bulldogs, wanting to go to war over almost every issue. Some attorneys are natural negotiators and more comfortable trying to get you to come to a reasonable settlement.
Moreover, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with your attorney, so if possible, it is crucial to hire an attorney who you actually like, who shares your values. No matter what process you choose, your attorney will be your teammate, and your team will be more successful if you get along with one another.
Follow Open Palm Law to learn more about the collaborative divorce process and how it can help you!
About this week’s authors: Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, 2 of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership to The American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.