You Can Do Some Work Yourself
You may need an attorney to support you and provide legal guidance, but you can ask about matters you can take responsibility for. For example, filing paperwork, finding records needed, or journaling events and encounters with people and matters that can support your case. Ask your attorney what you can do to help your case and be prepared. In the end this may also help better balance your budget to legal services.
Be Responsible and Honest
Take on personal responsibility for your case, your emotions and your mistakes. Be honest to tell your attorney everything he or she may ask of you. Admit to mistakes to assure your attorney is aware of everything-good, bad and regretful. Everything is confidential between you and your attorney unless a safety concern is at risk or it is agreed upon to disclose to support your case.
Your emotions and stress levels are at a high intensity during cases like divorce and child custody, but try to keep a clear flexible perspective. Focus on the more vital issues to your case and don’t panic over the smaller parts. Is the bedroom set really important for the argument or more time with your kids? Remind yourself to try to stay rational and attentive to the real facts of what are going on in your case.
Your lawyer is Not a Mental Health Counselor
An attorney is called a counselor and a part of your support to your case, but again keep perspective if you need a counselor for managing your emotions and not your case consult a therapist. Discussing your emotions, crying and have a break down is normal part of the process to managing your self-care, but is best handled with a therapist to save time with your attorney and in the end costs to that time.
Your case should be treated like a business by you and your attorney
Don’t use the court system to get even or make it into a soap opera, but rather treat it as you would any other business transaction. Be professional, responsible and focused to accomplish the task at hand.
Budget Your Money and Know what To Expect To Pay
As with all business transactions there are costs to be paid. Be aware of costs to your case to budget your money appropriately. Legal services have multiple fees and costs to attend too in order for your case to move forward and be completed to also move on with your life. Find ways to pay for what you expect in return from your attorney. It is appropriate to use credit cards, loans, and family as needed to complete funding your services which in turn will complete your case.
Written by : Bridgette Andrade, L.M.S.W