Negotiate smarter: How to get the most out of your attorney


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) – Divorce is one area where every case for every person is different from everyone else’s.  Two people have decided to divide their lives and therefore all of their possessions and share the responsibility of raising their children.  There is so much involved that it is very important that your attorney knows exactly what is important to you and what outcome you want in your case.

Most attorneys have an idea of what they feel you should be getting out of your divorce.  They are your advocate and looking to get the most for their clients.  But not everyone wants the same thing.  You may want the cottage, your grandmother’s jewelry or mostly cash rather then fight over marital property that does not mean much to you.  We have even had clients who just wanted to tell their story, be heard and validated and didn’t give two cents for their personal property.  To them, that was success.

On the other side of the coin, your attorney is also your advisor.  They are your counselor at law.  This means that if your wishes are unreasonable, unlawful or unrealistic, they will advise you why it is so.  If you are about to agree to something that they know is a mistake for your future, they will try to talk you out of it.  But ultimately, the decisions in your case are yours.  Attorneys are ethically bound to represent your wishes so they need to know, in detail, what those wishes are.  Aside from possessions and custody issues let your attorney know what your dreams are for your future.  If they understand where you want your life to be they will do their best to help you get there through the divorce settlement.

Most attorneys will assume you want a fair and equitable division of property, but to some, that isn’t as important as, say, getting certain items from the home.

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