Updated: Friday, 26 Oct 2012, 10:25 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 26 Oct 2012, 10:25 AM EDT
Grand Rapids, Mich (WOTV) - One of the most difficult decisions a person going through a divorce must make is what to fight for and how far to take it. This is easier said than done. People often get caught up in the emotional drama of their case and fail to focus on their ultimate goal - surviving and beginning a new and happier life.
It all comes down to setting priorities, a crucial process that starts with good communication between attorney and client. A good divorce attorney knows how to ask the right questions of a client and listen carefully to her responses. It is never enough for the attorney to merely gather facts. That approach is sure to miss the mark because it fails to identify a client's true wishes.
Once your attorney knows what your aspirations are and what the assets and issues are, they can then advise you whether it is worth fighting for. For example, custody and parenting time and support issues are rightfully at the top of many women's priority list. These are things worth fighting for. However, is it really worth spending thousands of dollars in attorney fees to gain an equal amount of cash? Probably not.
We often see women come into the DAWN office upset because they have been billed by an attorney, at another firm, for more money than they were fighting over. This is where they needed to become their own advocate and ask their attorney, ahead of time, whether it was worth continuing to argue over an item. If you are uncomfortable with the amount of time being spent (and the bill that goes with it) over an issue that isn't worth much, you need to let your attorney know that you do not wish to continue pursuing that issue. You need to pay attention to how your case is progressing and play an active roll.
On the other hand, your attorney may advise you to spend what you consider to be a large amount of money on appraisals of personal property because they know that it will likely net you a greater amount of person property. In other words, it is money well spent. You need to analyze your assets, ask questions, set your priorities and communicate your wishes to your attorney.
At DAWN, all of our attorneys are taught to ask each woman we serve one central question: "What are your hopes and dreams for the future?" All the energy and effort of the attorney and client, from start to finish, should be focused on achieving a woman's long-term goals. It's the only way to build a foundation that lasts.