By Leslie Lorenzano
When going through a stressful time like divorce, feeling out of the loop on the progress of your case can exacerbate the anxiety of the situation.
If your spouse – and not your divorce attorney – is calling you with the results from your last court hearing or if you have no idea what the status of your case is or what should be happening next, it can make the entire process feel even more out of your control than it already inherently seems.
This is why the family law attorneys at Cordell & Cordell make it a priority to provide our clients with attentive representation. We take very seriously that you have asked us to walk you through one of the most difficult times in your life, and a fundamental way that we assist you is by communicating regularly with you about all aspects of your case.
In order to effectively represent your interests, there must be an open and consistent line of communication between your divorce lawyer and you.
There are several ways that you can help to make sure you and your attorney are communicating effectively throughout your case.
Preferred Communication Methods
You should discuss with your attorney the best methods of communication to use. Do you prefer talking on the phone or in person? Or do you like to have everything in writing and in front of you? Do you check your email once an hour or once a week?
If you don’t tell your attorney how you best receive and retain information, then it can create an unnecessary obstacle in the attorney-client relationship.
Over the course of your case, you will be receiving a large volume of information, and you will almost certainly have many questions about your case and the process as it progresses. Establishing the best form of communication for you and your attorney at the outset of your case can help the entire process run smoother.
Put Pen To Paper
When you do have questions, it can be helpful to write them out, even if you prefer discussing them in person or via telephone.
Often, you will be able to narrow down the actual issue about which you are inquiring before you speak with your attorney, which can save time (and money) and prevent muddling the issues of your case.
Additionally, carefully writing out your questions can help you communicate them in a clear and concise manner. Read over what you have written before you send it to your attorney, to make sure that your questions are outlined clearly. It will help your attorney understand what your concerns truly are, so that he or she can address them appropriately.
Carefully Review Correspondence
If your attorney has sent you correspondence, be sure to read over the documents carefully and slowly. Take notes as you read it over.
If you have questions about your case, sometimes you may discover the answer to your questions in previous correspondence from your attorney, so it never hurts to review your written communications from time to time throughout your case. As stated above, you will be receiving a large quantity of information over the coming months, and it is easy to forget which topics you and your attorney have previously covered.
Additionally, when going through such an emotionally difficult time, our memories are not always at their best, so before panicking about whether you and your attorney have discussed a particular issue, you should review your emails and letters.
Of course, if the answers you are seeking are not found in your previous correspondence, or you need immediate assistance with an emergency issue, contact your attorney with your questions.
Open and Honest Communication
If you feel that you and your attorney are having trouble communicating, schedule a time to discuss your concerns with your attorney.
Effective communication is fundamental in ensuring that you understand your dissolution process, so your attorney will want to know if you don’t feel like you understand their communication efforts. Prior to your meeting, take time to think through your concerns so that you can communicate them in a calm and clear manner.
It is understandable to feel upset when you are frustrated during this emotional time, but remember that your attorney is on your side and will be able to advocate for you better if you two are able to communicate with each other in a respectful manner. It helps both of you to have an open and honest conversation about the best way to move forward regarding your case.
Ultimately, there will be things out of your or your attorney’s control during your case. That being said, your attorney is there to help you understand as best you can what occurrences arise during your case.
Effective communication is key in helping you through your dissolution process. Encouraging an open, calm, and honest line of communication will provide a smooth foundation for your divorce attorney-client relationship.