Divorce trials are strange, unfamiliar things to most people. You can feel like you’re in the dark. If your divorce attorney doesn’t do a good job being clear with you, that feeling of being in the dark can turn to mistrust of your lawyer, insecurity, and fear. In this series, What you Need to Know About Your Divorce Trial That Your Lawyer May Not Tell You, I’ll shed some light on your divorce trial.
In this first installment, Has My Lawyer Fallen from the End of the Earth? I’ll explain why your lawyer’s seeming disappearance before trial isn’t a sign he or she has met a bizarre end or doesn’t care about your case. (So hold off on emailing tabloid websites with your proof the world is flat because your lawyer just fell off the edge of it.)
Pre-trial pre-production for your divorce trial
Before any organized presentation, there’s a lot of preparation. That prep is crucial to make sure the presentation is smooth and coherent, and as well thought out as possible. Think of it as pre-production.
Divorce trials are no different. They require a LOT of pre-production. A well prepared attorney generally spends four to five hours of preparation time for every hour they’ll spend in court.
How is that possible? A divorce attorney preparing for a divorce trial or other family law trial has a lot to do.
Not proof the world is flat
Your attorney has a lot on their plate when preparing for your divorce or other family law trial. During the busiest parts of that trial preparation, they may rely on another attorney in the firm, a law clerk, or assistant to help support you. Those trusted members of your divorce team may support you through any questions or issues come up. If that happens, don’t take it personally; your attorney isn’t blowing you off. They haven’t fallen from the edge of a flat earth, and they certainly haven’t stopped caring about the outcome of your case. It’s quite the opposite.
Your attorney cares so much that they are directing the lion’s share of their time and attention to preparing for your trial. They want to be as prepared as possible for your divorce trial so they can do what you hired them to do: get you the best result they are able to achieve.
Many attorneys miss out on time with their families, other personal events and interests, and even needed rest because they become incredibly focused on preparing for your trial so they can do a good job for you.
An alternative to the tribulations of a divorce trial
If a divorce trial sounds like it’s not for your circumstance, there’s an alternative: collaborative divorce. Not every attorney is trained in this amicable divorce option. Also, it’s not appropriate for every case.
At Hightower Reff Law, however, (as well as practicing in traditional adversarial divorce) attorney Scott Hahn and I are both certified collaborative divorce attorneys.
In a nutshell, in collaborative divorce, you and your spouse work with a team of professionals to come up with an agreement to submit to the court. That agreement will become your final Divorce Decree. There’ll be some court involvement to get everything finalized. However, collaborative divorce is usually easier in the end, in part because you have everything agreed upon ahead of time instead of “duking it out” at trial.
There’s more info on collaborative divorce available on the Hightower Reff blog and website.
Next time in the series, What You Need to Know About Your Divorce Trial That Your Lawyer May Not Tell You
Next time in the series What you Need to Know About Your Divorce Trial that Your Lawyer May Not Tell You, I’ll share some ideas on what YOU can do to prepare for your trial to help increase your chances of success.
This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts.
For More Information:
Learn more about Hightower Reff Partner Attorney Tracy Hightower.
Find out more about Hightower Reff’s family law services.
If you need help with a Nebraska divorce or other family law case, contact Hightower Reff Law today and come visit with one of the attorneys at the Omaha office.