While communication between you and your family law attorney is extremely important and somewhat complicated, being able to manage your expectations is a valuable skill. Understanding how to communicate with your lawyer and what to expect will help your case go more smoothly and with less expense.
- Using the word “urgent” in the subject line of an email is only appropriate if there is bloodshed or law enforcement is involved. Judges almost never consider money an emergency. You or your spouse getting angry is not urgent, as we have already advised that you should not respond to, argue with, or expect your soon-to-be-ex partner to agree to your point of view.
- Avoid “what ifs.” I often call it borrowing trouble. We don’t have a crystal ball to forecast the future. Everything in the process depends upon how you and your ex will respond to the circumstances. We can’t predict the time or cost for your case with any reliability; we can only give a range of results based upon documents and facts that you provide to us. A fear of fees often results in clients’ failure to send important information until there is a crisis. Clients should send information early and often via email without expecting a response to each factual update.
- Don’t expect that all your expectations, demands, or requirements will be met in the final judgement. The process always results in compromise. Judges can’t make final decisions until they have formally heard testimony and/or seen evidence. To have that happen, you must appear in court on a preset trial date. Judges can’t make binding decisions at a routine status date.
Don’t call, text, or email for an update. Don’t waste fees on checking in, since your attorney will pass along new information immediately. Exceptions to this will be addressed in a future article.
Wakeman Law Group, PC
741 S. McHenry Ave.
Crystal Lake, IL 60014