There is a lot of incentive for litigation attorneys to blow sunshine up your skirt and tell you what you want to hear. In that first consultation at the beginning of your case, we lawyers are, after all, salespeople. We start with an optimistic overview of your case, and it will be awhile before we start to talk to you about any potential downside.
Plus, it's human nature to decide what you want to do, and then amass evidence supporting your position and discount evidence to the contrary. So we're going to help you do that, particularly at the beginning of your case.
Let's face it, nobody wants to hear bad news. But as an informed client, you need to be prepared for whatever might happen so that you can decide how to best handle your case.
If your lawyer is being honest, he or she will answer the following 9 questions:
- What is my best case scenario in this case? If the Judge agreed with everything I say, and nothing that my spouse says, what do you predict the outcome to be?
If this feels confrontational, you can feel free to print this out and hand it to your lawyer. Tell him or her that while you think it's crazy and overkill, your Huffington Post friend said to talk to them about this because it's really important.
Like I said above, there is overwhelming incentive for litigation attorneys to tell you what you want to hear. Read this "Open Letter from Your Divorce Attorney" for a real eye-opener, and the truth about why this happens all too often.
Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Perigee 2010). Join the conversation and community on our video blog and check out Diana's divorce blog on the Huffington Post
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