This Is What It’s Like to Work with a Divorce Lawyer
Some clients might wonder what to expect when working with a divorce lawyer. While your case is on your mind 24/7, your divorce lawyer has other cases simultaneously, so it’s helpful to know how the interactions will flow once you choose the lawyer you want to work with.
Step 1: Introductory Meeting
Here, you will get to know one another and learn about the lawyer’s approach to divorce. A good lawyer should offer a picture of how often and by what methods you’ll be in touch.
What if you feel an urgency arise, or have questions?
Is email the best method of communication?
How quickly will the lawyer respond?
What if it’s over a weekend or holiday?
It’s good to establish parameters up front, so you know what to expect when you work with a divorce lawyer.
Step 2: Gathering Information
It takes time to build a legal case. There will be a lengthy period during which your lawyer will ask for information, paperwork, evidence, and other resources to help build your case.
The more quickly you can gather materials, the more quickly your case will be built. That said, remember that your attorney has many clients and cases, and yours is in the queue!
A Michigan divorce can take anywhere from six months to years. Nothing happens overnight, especially when the courts are involved, but your lawyer should give you an estimate of the time frame for building your case and how quickly he or she can process the information you provide.
If your lawyer has to request documents from the other side, then the flow will depend on how quickly they respond and provide the requested information.
Delays can arise – and they are not always within your control or your attorney’s. Try to be patient, even though the case is always on your mind, with questions about how it will unfold.
Step 3: Negotiation
You may have a series of meetings with your lawyer, your soon-to-be ex and their lawyer. These require scheduling four people’s calendars, which can be cumbersome. Again, be patient as it unfolds.
In the negotiation phase, there may be issues to discuss or debate, and there may be need for further information-gathering or fact-finding. Ask your lawyer for estimates of how much time each phase will take, so you have realistic expectations every step of the way!
Time estimates often change once we dive into the details, as we know more about the type of case it is becoming.
Step 4: Finalizing
Once everything has been laid out and agreed to, finalizing your divorce still takes time. Factors can include preparing a Settlement Agreement and Judgment of Divorce with language agreeable to both sides as well as the judge’s availability to approve the Judgment and make the divorce final.
Every step of the way during your divorce, you may be eager to hear back from your attorney on progress and next steps. Divorce lawyers are as eager as their clients to complete the case to everyone’s satisfaction!
If you’re waiting to hear from your lawyer and there is no email or return call, try to be patient. It’s hard, but sometimes they are waiting for response from the other side, or confirmation from the court, and they don’t want to waste your time with empty information.
The hallmark of a good lawyer is open and flowing communication with clients. Trust that your attorney will get back to you as soon as new information becomes available!
Every divorce client feels a sense of urgency to get their case done and decided. It will happen; waiting is the hardest part.
Michigan divorces take a minimum of 6 months to complete. Knowing that is crucial to taking a deep breath and letting the process happen as it should.