Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Divorce Settlement
What if I don't like my lawyer's tactics and strategies? Can I get a second legal opinion without firing my lawyer?
You definitely can get a second legal opinion
without firing your lawyer. Here are some things you should consider:
Most family law attorneys charge by the hour to act as consultants.
(Some lawyers will meet with you for free if they think they will get a new case, but
their advice may be less than impartial.) An impartial consultation, though, may be a
valuable expenditure if it gives you peace of mind. In addition, your own consulting attorney can give you individual legal advice which a mediator, as a neutral cannot.
Sometimes, however, getting a lot of advice is confusing.
Every one has a different style, and many family law decisions are judgment calls, not
black-and-white options. Second-guessing another attorney's decisions is difficult at best
for the attorney, and many clients find it difficult to sort out which opinion is better.
The advice you will receive is also limited by the input
you provide. If the consulting attorney does not have all the facts, or if you present
information in a biased or confusing manner, the advice you get will be less valuable. To
avoid getting back the information you want rather than the truth, ask your consulting
lawyer not to advocate for a particular position. Choose reality over wishful thinking.
You may also be confusing your unhappiness about the
divorce with your unhappiness with your legal representation. Use counseling to sort out
your emotional issues.
If the issue is one of personality and you are unhappy with
your attorney, a consultation with another attorney may be helpful in opening up your
options. A relationship with an attorney during a divorce is a close one, and you must be
comfortable with your attorney. You must also feel that your attorney is behaving in a way
which does not make the process worse for you or your children in the future.
Be careful in choosing a second attorney, though. It is the
general folk wisdom among family lawyers that clients who have had more than two attorneys
are not good clients, and judges also look askance at parties with serial lawyers.
Contact Fern Topas Salka
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