Clients often believe that when they hire a divorce attorney, they need someone to fight for them; to be tough; to be a gorilla on their side.

If you hire a gorilla, that means you will be working with a gorilla. The attorney isn’t going to be a pussy cat when dealing with you.

At first it seems really good. The attorney is very friendly, helpful and amenable. Later, if you have a disagreement, a misunderstanding, or you can’t reach them and you’re unhappy, the person you are dealing with is that very same gorilla you hired to fight for you. Likely, that attorney will not be as sensitive to your needs as you might like.

It’s easy to be swayed by someone saying, “Oh, I’m going to protect you. I’m going to fight for you. I’m going to get you everything you’re entitled to,” in the moment when you’re feeling angry, hurt and afraid. When you’re choosing a professional, you want someone who is strong and also has a certain degree of sensitivity to you and the situation, to really meet your needs.

To choose a divorce professional that is right for you, ask yourself the following:

  • What is important to me?
  • What am I afraid of?
  • What outcome am I looking for?
  • What kind of relationship do I want to have with my soon-to-be ex?
  • What kind of relationship do I want to have with my attorney?

Ask your divorce professional these important questions:

  • How available will you be for me?
  • Will I have your cell phone number?
  • Will you respond to my emails?
  • How will we work together?
  • What if I disagree with you about the fee?
  • Will I actually be working with you, or with an associate?

Avoid choosing your divorce attorney based on emotion: “I’m scared. I’m angry. I want revenge. Therefore, I am going to hire someone who will give me that sense of revenge and level of protection.” Hire a divorce attorney that has the right tone for you, but who can also adjust the tone as your needs change, and maintain sensitivity to the situation. Choose someone who plays to your intelligence, not to your fear.

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Breaking the News - Guide to Asking for a Divorce