Five (realistic) things to expect when facing divorce litigation in Orange County
- Finding the ‘right one’ might take some time: Relax, we’ll spare you the clichés pertaining to marriage and dating. Instead, we’d like to discuss and emphasize the meaning of ‘good fit’ when it comes to searching for a lawyer. Start with your personal network. Talk to a friend, a colleague, maybe even a personal family member who has gone through (or is maybe currently going through) the process right now. You may even find it easier to get the ball rolling with someone familiar, someone to confide in. Ask around for a referral. Ask what they liked about their attorney and what they could have improved on. Ask about their approach to breaking down legal strategies in a way that laypeople (legalese for an outsider of the legal field) can understand. Ask about how often the attorney communicated with the clients and how responsive they are to questions. Ask how personable they are – would it seem like you and the attorney would bond over common interest? Does it seem like they have a life outside of this profession, and do they balance that well? These questions sound trivial, but they are not to be overlooked when it comes to gauging your comfort level with this professional. Family law litigation presents issues that are sure to rattle your mental tenacity and emotional stability. Remember, you’ll be spilling your heart out to this person so it’s best to find someone with a personality you can gel with. Once you’ve settled on a few, reach out to the firms to make an appointment. Get a feel for how the administrating staff answers your inquiries. Should you decide move forward with this law firm, these staff members may be your legal team as well. Be prepared to pay a consultation fee. With all this in mind, make your pick.
- This won’t be cheap: Litigation is costly. In terms of money, time and energy. With that in mind, let’s discuss setting some realistic financial expectations. As tempting as it may be to shop for attorneys by price, remember — you get what you pay for. You want to find someone with a reasonable retainer and hourly rate. Regardless of your own financial situation, it is in your best interest to work with an attorney who will use their time and your money responsibly. The moment that your signatures dry on that retainer agreement, your legal team will fully commit to representing you and your case as best as possible. With that in mind, know that your team will execute whatever they need to build your case. As you can imagine, this will take a lot of work. Good work takes time. Time is money. See where we are going with this?
- Show ‘em what you got: While we are on the subject of work, let’s talk documentation. A successful relationship between attorney and client only works with participation from both parties. In other words, you as the client need to be prepared with any and all information pertaining to your case. This may mean digging through your stash of old files and receipts; this may mean collecting screenshots and photos. As the opposing party will also be building their case, it’s only right that your legal team do the same for you. The reality is that there will be plenty of paperwork. It will be tedious. It will be repetitive. It may seem confusing, and it might even drive you crazy. But remember it’s all to the benefit of the overall strategy that your attorney has carefully crafted for you. Should you feel lost, do not be afraid to ask questions. You and your attorney are working together, and more than likely, they want to see your case through the end.
- Patience is a virtue: On a related note, now is about as good of a time as ever to bring up the value of patience. To further animate this point, let’s bring up a familiar scenario: you and your attorney get all the way to the end of the case. The issue in question has made it all the way to trial, and the court rules in your favor. You have secured many of the terms that you wanted. Is it as easy as strolling out of court victoriously, and collecting what you are owed? Unfortunately not. Results are not instant. The truth of the matter is that you will need documentation that proves that the results of this trial are bona fide court orders. As you can imagine, the Court processes volumes and volumes of paperwork each day. It might be awhile before they get your case. Believe it or not, some find this step the hardest part of the process. Remember, we too, are at the mercy of the court’s bureaucracy but once it’s done, trust that you’ll be the first person that your team will notify.
- You are not alone: Going into litigation may drive you to your wits end, but it doesn’t have to take you for all your worth. Reach out to a select few in your inner circle who you can trust to keep your bearings straight as you undergo this process. Make use of the resources that are available to you. Be honest and upfront to your legal team about what is currently going on with you outside of the office, so that they know exactly how to help you. Depending on your confidentiality restrictions, you may even bring a loved one with you to your meetings for emotional support. At Desai Family Law Group, you can count that we are all here to help you. We understand that litigation is an arduous journey and it’s best not to go at it alone. We know what is at stake, and it is important to us that you come out of this as whole as possible.