14 Jul 3 Situations in Which You Shouldn’t Call Your Divorce Lawyer
Your divorce lawyer can do a lot of things for you related to your pending case, relating to a past divorce, and even related to a possible divorce in the future. There are even more things, though, that your divorce lawyer cannot and should not do for you. Aside from all of the bizarre hypotheticals that we could imagine as to when you shouldn’t call your divorce lawyer (e.g. you shouldn’t call your divorce lawyer, for example, to help you fry an egg or teaching you how to crochet), there are situations (related to the divorce process) in which you really should not call your divorce lawyer. Here is a list of three things to keep in mind when considering whether to make that call.
1. Your Divorce Lawyer Is Not Your Sounding Board
This can be a difficult situation to understand. In some cases, your divorce lawyer knows just as much about your situation as maybe your family or friends. Just because they have an understanding of the situation, though, does not mean that it is their responsibility to guide you emotionally or mentally through your divorce. This might seem blunt or even crass, but your divorce lawyer is there to help you through the litigation of your divorce. Your divorce lawyer is likely not a trained therapist or qualified to help someone through grief or emotional struggles. If you feel like you need to talk to someone about the emotional or mental impact of your divorce, consult a therapist or other mental health professional. Your attorney can probably provide you with a few referrals. You might also consider speaking to your friends or talking with your family. While your divorce attorney undoubtedly wishes the best for you and your mental health, they are not the person to call to use as a sounding board.
2. Your Divorce Lawyer Is Not Your Spouse (Or Their Attorney)
Divorce can sometimes become a lengthy and frustrating ordeal. As unfortunate as it may be, there is a reason people will sometimes describe it as a “battle” as opposed to just a “legal proceeding” between adults. In this way, it’s not uncommon for a person to become very upset or even angry with their spouse and his or her attorney. Sometimes, though, the manifestation of those frustrations can be displaced onto your own attorney. This activity is sometimes referred to as a process similar to “transferential displacement” upon an analyst. Your attorney should be well-equipped to handle those situations, but similar to the challenges a doctor has to battle when dealing with an illness, sometimes he/she cannot change how the opposing party will act. Rather, your attorney may only be able to mitigate the amount of harm that the other party’s decision has made upon your best interest. It is critical to maintain a solid working relationship with your divorce lawyer as they do their best to represent and support you.
3. Your Divorce Lawyer Is Not A Psychic
Divorce is stressful, and that’s a fact. A lot of this stress is brought on by simply not knowing how things will turn out. You don’t know if a divorce will go smoothly. You don’t know who will take what or how things will turn out. The fact is that your divorce lawyer does not know these things for sure either. Sure, your attorney can likely make an informed guess about the probable outcome of your case. But the fact still remains that your attorney cannot honestly promise you that a certain result will occur at the end of your case. If you find yourself stressing over the outcome of your case, take a breath. There likely isn’t anything you can do at that very moment to address the speculative or hypothetical concern. If you do, however, have a valid concern that needs to be addressed or responded to, then that is a good time to call your divorce lawyer so that they can take action. If you are simply worrying about a non-procedural issue, though, and there isn’t actually anything your lawyer can do, then it might be best to put the phone (and the worries) down or wait to bring it up until your next scheduled meeting.
There are many other times that you probably shouldn’t call your divorce lawyer. Unnecessary calls can be burdensome on your attorney and can inhibit them from helping other clients. Furthermore, unneeded calls can run up the amount that you will attorney fees. There are also times, however, when you do need to call your divorce lawyer. If you are struggling between these two possibilities, take a second to think what can be done and whether it is actually a job for your divorce lawyer or not. If the answer is “maybe”, go ahead and give him/her a call. If it is “no”, save yourself the cost.