I ran across this article authored by an associate at a Florida based firm. It has some very valid points.
Help your Divorce Lawyer help you.
BY: Jodi Furr Colton, Esq.
Getting divorced often takes a very long time – or at least it will
feel that way if it is happening to you. In the words of one client, and
probably more, “getting divorced sucks.” Here are four ways to make it
less painful for you, and your lawyer.
Tell the truth.
Be forthcoming. It is essential that you tell your lawyer the truth.
Working with your divorce lawyer is a lot like describing symptoms to
your doctor. You want to give him or her all the relevant information,
and even some details that you aren’t sure are important. And, don’t
leave out the embarrassing details. It may be a little awkward to talk
about your multiple affairs or your predilection for adult websites, but
you will fare better in the long run if you just fess up now. Your
divorce lawyer, much like your doctor, has heard it all before. More
importantly, don’t spring these little details on your lawyer in the
hallway before heading into court or let them come out for the first
time at you deposition. Your lawyer will want to know ahead of time that
you cashed in your 401k and spent the money on your new girlfriend, or
that you pawned your wedding ring to buy a new Louis Vuitton bag. Both
problems are resolvable, but will be a lot harder to deal with if you
are doing so on the defensive.
Don’t gossip, even about yourself.
People love to give advice to friends getting divorced and offer
their two cents. Don’t listen to the spectators. They are not divorce lawyers and even if they are, they are not your divorce lawyer. Every
case is different. Just because Susie down the street got 10 years of
alimony doesn’t mean you will. If you have questions, ask your lawyer
and if you aren’t confident in your lawyer’s answers then find a new
Also, sharing the specific details of your case with friends may
backfire. All too often, the “friend” you have been confiding in is a
“double agent”—someone pretending to be on your side but really just
gathering information for your spouse. Also undesirable are the
“helpers”—those with good intentions who are trying to help you and your
spouse work things out, which usually doesn’t work at all. During your
divorce it’s best not divulge details to more than a couple of your
closest relatives or friends.
Getting divorced is pretty unpleasant and your lawyer should do what
he or she can to make the process less unpleasant, but you will have to
do some work too. You lawyer will probably ask you to gather a mountain
of documents or do other time consuming and boring tasks. Feel free to
ask why–because you should always be informed about the process and the
reason behind your lawyers instructions or advice—but don’t complain or
give your lawyer and his or her office staff a hard time. If they ask for
something, it’s because they need it. The more time you spend
complaining, the longer it will take, and the more money you will spend.
Do unto others.
If you act like an ass, odds are your spouse will too. That will not
get you divorced any faster and it will probably cost you more money in
the long run. Being difficult with your spouse typically just increases
the amount of time it takes to accomplish the task at hand. Time is
money and you don’t want to spend all of yours on legal fees.
Jodi Furr Colton is a Boca Raton attorney with the law firm of
Brinkley Morgan. She focuses her practice on divorce, alimony, equitable
distribution, parental responsibility and timesharing. Jodi is a
graduate of Harvard Law School, Swarthmore College and Pine Crest. She
is happily married and the mother of two. Learn more here, or telephone 561-665-4738.