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Tips for Dealing with Divorce Lawyers

Demand respect. Use common sense. Just because your lawyer tells you to do something doesn't mean you have to do it. If your lawyer is a bully get a friend or family member to help you evaluate what the lawyer wants you to do. Better yet get another lawyer.

If a lawyer doesn't return your calls within several days get rid of him or her. Understand however, that lawyers are sometimes tied up in hearings and can't return the call immediately.

If a lawyer consents to something that hurts you without your consent fire them.

Tell your lawyer in writing that they cannot consent to major changes that affect you such as exclusive possession of the marital home or business without your written consent.

Don't ever let your lawyer tell you that it won't matter in the future and to consent to a PFA unless there is a true basis for the claim.

Your lawyer should be able to advise you what you will pay or receive in support before the date of your hearing unless one of you owns a closely-held business or is self-employed and accepting cash. There is something wrong if the lawyer has not advised you of the amount and on the date of the hearing insists you take an amount without showing how it was computed. There are software programs that compute the amount in seconds. Most support hearings are not required and can be consented to by the parties.

Tell your lawyer that you expect to receive copies of all correspondence and pleadings filed in your case. You can tell them that you don't want them to prepare enclosure letters unless you don't mind paying the extra fees.

Use email. It is less costly. But do not send your lawyer daily emails.

Do not include your emotional baggage in emails. Start seeing a therapist and get some medication to get through this. It won't hurt your case.

Ask for detailed bills. Many lawyers try to send you bills that lump everything together in a paragraph. You can't question the amount of time spent on something but it is not itemized. All firms and lawyers are capable of printing you a detailed itemized bill. Helps to keep the attorney honest. Mistakes have been made.