Huffpost Divorce

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Stacy D. Phillips Headshot

Finding Your Type: The Importance of Choosing the Right Divorce Attorney

Posted: Updated:

See if you can identify your attorney (the one you have or the one you want) in one of these descriptions and most important of all, assess whether that type is best for you and where you stand on the control front:

The Warrior: These divorce lawyers plow full speed ahead, usually winding up in a courtroom on a regular and repeated basis in each case. The Warrior thrives on competition and does everything to win, at all costs. A Warrior may be the answer when your last resort is a bona fide Legal War, but often times this species can create more havoc and chaos than good. I believe every good divorce attorney should have a Warrior "within" (I certainly do); but to behave bellicose 24/7 is not necessarily the answer.

The Parent: This type is the "father/mother figure." They are known to "caretake" throughout the divorce-law process; but just like Mom and Dad, they may have a tendency to tell you what is best for you and insist on your following their lead.

The Wimp: This type of family lawyer backs off from any confrontation, whether it is coming from you, opposing counsel, or the judge. He or she would rather just settle the case and collect fees. Beware of the Wimp, for he or she is not likely to take a stand when taking one is necessary. The Wimp is the type of divorce lawyer that wants no control. The Wimp would just as soon you keep control, preferring the path of least resistance.

The Lazybone: The way in which this family lawyer type differs from the Wimp is that the Lazybone just cannot seem to get the job done. He or she is notoriously late in returning telephone calls, tardy in filing the proper paperwork, forever losing important documents, cannot seem to remember details, and, to the extreme, can also be known to nod off in a deposition or lengthy court proceeding. There is really no control problem with the Lazybone -- he or she is often more than happy for you to take charge.

The Egomaniac: With this type, if he/she cannot run the show, they would rather have no show at all! They, like the Warrior, need to prevail. These types of divorce attorneys are incredibly conscious of what others think, and therefore may do an excellent job on a client's behalf, just to make one more overwhelming impression. The Egomaniac, however, is not apt to give away much control, preferring to use it as a means of saying, "See how perfectly my strategy worked out!"

The "Bait and Switch": This type of divorce lawyer often rides on his or her laurels -- a fine reputation or that of a celebrated one--but shuffles you over to a firm associate or partner. The Bait and Switch usually charges big bucks and may even try to warrant those hefty fees, though you come to find out that one of his/her associates is actually working your case.

The "Partner": This type of divorce attorney encourages the client to participate in his or her divorce process on all fronts. Teamwork is the bylaw of this attorney's approach, making sure the client plays an integral part in the making of all decisions. A strong partnership between client and attorney is established from the get-go. The Partner does the Control Dance well because he or she knows when to lead and when to follow. The Partner is always goal-oriented and results-driven.

Now that you have had a glimpse of the divorce-attorney categories in a broad sense (and sometimes they overlap), see if you can identify into which category (or categories) your family attorney falls. Know there is no right or wrong type in general, only a right or wrong type for you.