Communication is the key to any constructive association, including the attorney-client relationship. When speaking to your lawyer about your divorce you must be honest and resist withholding information.
While speaking candidly is important, listening is also crucial. After all, half of the communication process is listening. Your attorney has background and knowledge you do not; let that experience guide your actions. Here are three ways to enhance communication between you and your lawyer.
You will get the most out of your first meeting if you prepare ahead of time. The attorney will need to know basic information, such as how long the marriage has lasted and whether you have children. If your spouse has already served you with divorce papers, bring those with you.
Mostly, you need to know what you want. Spell it out to your lawyer as specifically as possible. As you share information, your lawyer should be able to let you know whether your goals are realistic.
You may wish you could avoid talking to your lawyer about embarrassing issues. However, do not try to hide assets, conceal infidelity or gloss over a past addiction. Give your attorney the facts. Armed with thorough knowledge, your lawyer can give you solid advice.
Your attorney may give you advice that you do not wish to hear. You may seek an unrealistic or unjustified outcome. In some cases, your anger toward your spouse may make you unreasonable. It is your lawyer’s job to inform you when your expectations run counter to legal precedent.
You may not get everything you want in your divorce. However, if you communicate well with your attorney, the process can be much smoother.