It is often said that there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Litigants involved in a divorce often find themselves coping with a rollercoaster of emotions as they progress from each stage to the next, with occasional regression along the way. Throughout it all, litigants turn to their matrimonial attorneys to help them navigate the “troubled waters”.
A “good” attorney will not only zealously advocate on behalf of their clients, but will make themselves available to guide their clients through each stage of grief. Whether a client attempts to bury their head in the sand or is blinded by rage and a sense of revenge, an attentive attorney will intervene to offer guidance or direct them to the right professional that can provide assistance. Knowing what you don’t know is key.
The importance of cooperating with your matrimonial attorney cannot be overstated. Failure to do so may result in mistakes being made, the process prolonged, and substantial counsel fees and costs incurred, to name just a few potential consequences.
Similarly, your attorney will serve as a voice of reason during settlement negotiations, which can significantly shorten the stages of bargaining and depression. You already experienced their art of persuasion every time you got talked out of one reckless idea or another (à la “tough love”). Your trust that they want nothing short of the best possible result for you should be implicit, otherwise you’re with the wrong attorney. So have faith.
Bottom line: litigants often pay their life savings and/or dig themselves into debt to retain their attorneys for their advice and representation. Use that money wisely. Cooperate with them when cooperation is requested. Seek their advice before making a questionable decision, rather than spend exponentially more on their representation in a courtroom to defend the decision after the fact. Trust that they have your best interests at heart. Follow their lead and the road to “acceptance” will be far smoother.