Life is a Series of Transitions
Many clients come to me post-divorce looking for help with issues that arise after the divorce is final. It may be immediately after or years later, and issues can range from technical details, like having a retirement plan divided, to more emotional ones like dealing with parenting time or children.
Why don’t some people return to their original divorce attorney?
Maybe they weren’t completely satisfied the first time around. For some people, they have changed significantly and need a different type of counsel to guide where, and who, they are today.
Sometimes people come to me because they don’t want to be reminded of a dark time in their lives; they want a fresh start to deal with the issues before them now. If you have already made a significant transition, your past experience will color how you decide to deal with the next one.
I hear a lot that clients want a closer connection with their attorney post-divorce than they had initially. So much of business is that personal relationship – no matter what service you offer or product you sell, it all comes down to relationships.
People do business with people and if the chemistry isn’t there, it’s not hard to find someone with whom you click. In family law, the importance of feeling understood and supported by your attorney cannot be understated.
Many divorces have ongoing details to deal with even after it’s final. Some people can address such specifics on their own once they are through the hard part of the divorce, but unfortunately, it is not always smooth sailing, even years later, and many divorced couples cannot communicate any better post-judgment than they did when they were married (not surprising, right?)
Emotions are sometimes never resolved – so they lurk beneath the surface and complicate everyday life. No question, emotions can be an impediment complicating post-judgment conversations.
(Stay tuned for a blog featuring tips on how you might move toward better conversations with your ex-spouse that could lead to better outcomes!)
Some reasons you might need an attorney post-divorce:
- Because you face a single issue where you are bullied or taken advantage of – in those instances it’s often better to address the issue early on rather than wait until you’ve been Mr. or Ms. Nice Guy for months or years and try to put your foot down. Or because a single issue continues to rear its ugly head and after years of accepting for the sake of peace in the family, you simply cannot take it any more.
- If there’s been a change in circumstances –a parent has moved from the marital home quite a distance, and it’s affecting parenting time or the custody arrangement.
- A new job or loss of a job.
- Changes to child support circumstances.
- Issues that you might not have thought to address but that arise later, if you can’t reach an agreement together, like braces or summer camp.
- Special issues that you did address in your original divorce decree such as payment for college costs and expenses that need to be enforced.
- Different legal custody issues may arise like changing a doctor or wanting to seek medical or mental health treatment for your child.
- Changes arise with regard to children’s ages – their needs change all the time.
- If a parent wants to move or needs to move out of state, you will encounter change of domicile issues.
- To enforce parenting time.
- To enforce spousal support or modify support due to a change in circumstances.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, remember to find the right family law attorney who can guide you through resolution to an optimal outcome. Life is full of transitions – some challenging, some easy. Let’s get through your next one with dignity.