Do I need an aggressive divorce attorney?
An aggressive divorce attorney is like an aggressive dog.
If left unleashed, it can be dangerous, but when properly trained he or she can be a valuable companion. Selecting a divorce attorney can be a daunting and difficult task. You are selecting the individual that will guide you through a difficult and life-changing event that will affect the future of your family and your finances. Many individuals seek attorneys that portray themselves as aggressive divorce or family law lawyers. However, it is important to evaluate all aspects of your case before selecting an attorney to represent you.
When going through a divorce in Florida or any family law dispute, it is important to have an attorney who knows the law and is able to gauge potential outcomes of your case. Your attorney should be able to assess and articulate your best and worst day in court once they review all of the information related to your case. By discussing your best and worst day in court, you have a metric or bench mark so you can evaluate the best way to proceed forward given the position of the opposing party (most likely your spouse). This allows you to determine whether your attorney should be aggressive at this stage of the proceeding.
If your attorney is able to obtain a settlement similar to your best day in court through meditation or negotiations, then there is no need for aggressive representation as aggressive representation often translates to expensive representation. However, often the best settlements are reached by having an attorney by your side that is taken seriously by other family law attorneys. In Orlando and Central Florida, most divorce and family law attorneys know each other and know their reputation, as it is a fairly small legal community. If the attorney you select is known for settling cases and not proceeding to trail, you may not receive the settlement you deserve. There is a proverb by an unknown author that states, “it is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.” Hiring a divorce attorney is no different. You want an attorney that will fight for you and advocate your position when necessary, but knows how to facilitate a settlement when appropriate. It is important that your attorney have the skill, ability, and reputation as a litigator in the courtroom as other attorneys know the attorneys who are “gardeners in a war”.
When left unleashed, an aggressive divorce attorney can be dangerous to your case and to your wallet.
Your divorce attorney is not a tool for revenge and taking a scorched earth approach may result in huge legal fees and may negatively impact your case. Lawyers are your advocates and should zealously represent you, not start unnecessary fights to enrich themselves at your expense. A good attorney will fight for you, but will not provoke or extend a fight that isn’t in your best interests. Additionally, if your attorney takes positions that are unreasonable, you may lose credibility with the Judge, which may negatively impact the outcome of your case. Avoid attorneys who take a scorched earth approach. Your divorce or family law lawyer should use your case to protect your rights.
When selecting a divorce or family law lawyer be sure to evaluate whether your attorney has the skill set necessary to effectively represent you and advocate on your behalf. Ask your attorney to evaluate your case and provide an analysis of reasonable expectations. Although no attorney can guarantee a result, an experienced family law attorney should be able to evaluate and assess your case. Additionally, discuss with your attorney how they plan to approach your case, will they be taking a scorched earth approach or do they utilize alternative dispute resolutions such as mediation prior to aggressively litigating the case. Finally, discuss with your attorney how many cases they take to trial and what the outcomes of those cases were. This will allow you to determine whether your attorney is a warrior in a garden or a gardener in a war.