By Bonnie A. Rabinovitch-Mantel, CFLS.
There are plenty of attributes to look for when choosing the San Diego divorce attorney that’s right for you. But what attributes should you develop when it comes to being a good client? Though your attorney is your advocate, together you also make a team.
To ensure your case is its strongest, consider these few tips on how to help your San Diego divorce attorney help you—by being the best client you can be.
1. Stay Organized
Keeping tabs on all relevant documents, creating clear labels, and making digital copies are all excellent ways to stay on top of the copious amount of paperwork inherent in a San Diego divorce. It also helps your attorney sort through and prioritize all pertinent documents that might strengthen your case.
2. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
This timeless organizational tip still holds true amidst your San Diego divorce. As submission and court dates approach, mark your calendar and be aware of what’s required of you prior to those deadlines. Of course, an experienced San Diego divorce attorney will keep you abreast of all the relevant timelines and expectations, but by organizing your time and commitments, you can take on any and all deadlines in stride.
3. Don’t Assume – Consult!
The whole point of retaining a San Diego divorce attorney is to ensure that an experienced professional is advocating on your behalf and protecting your interests. So, before you sign any documents, attempt to negotiate with your soon-to-be ex, meet with an expert, or otherwise—consult with your attorney. Agreements with your former spouse are often positive, but you still want to be protected and understand the legal implications of all that you discuss and agree upon. Take advantage of the valuable resources your San Diego divorce attorney has. Never assume that the matter at hand doesn’t warrant an inquiry with your attorney—ask questions, and consult with your divorce lawyer.
4. Reason is King
Divorces are more than just legal pursuits. They often evoke deep emotion and dredge up pain and stress. Though it may be difficult to stay open-minded during a divorce, it’s important to try. Negotiations often require reasonable compromise, and though your San Diego divorce attorney will fight for your interests, realistic expectations should be the goal. In contentious divorces, it may be difficult to separate emotions from custody or spousal support negotiations—but try and keep in mind what’s most important: the welfare of your children and a positive, fair start to the next chapter of your life.
5. Patience, Patience, Patience
Divorce is a process in San Diego that requires time, back and forth negotiations, and perseverance as you make your way through the legal system. Though it’s entirely
reasonable to want your divorce to be settled as quickly as possible, be mindful of the time necessary to complete your case. Divorce negotiations are more like a marathon than a sprint, and you should prepare yourself accordingly.