Understanding the Risks Involved in Litigation

Many of the prospective clients I meet with are dealing with one of the most difficult situations they have faced in their lives.  They are hurt, angry, and confused.  They never imagined they would find themselves in a divorce lawyer’s office or that they may find out their spouse has been cheating on them or some other drama.

This is usually not the best mindset for someone to be considering litigation and making decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives.  Sometimes firing off a lawsuit and getting the litigation started is a good decision – other times it is premature and leads to more stress and problems.

To make sure you and your lawyer make the best decision for you and your case, do these things:

  • Make sure you are totally forthcoming with your lawyer.  He/She can’t help you without knowing everything about your case.  You may not think that drug conviction 10 years ago is important (you may have tried to forget about it), but your spouse who is trying to win custody of your minor children won’t forget about it so your lawyer needs to know about it.
  • Make sure you evaluate the risks.  Your lawyer should be able to help you understand the risks of litigation.  Is there a possibility that you could lose custody or have to pay your spouse alimony?  You need to make sure you calculate the risk before starting something you can’t stop.  I want to avoid any kind of conversation with a client that starts off with, “you didn’t tell me I could lose custody,” or, “you didn’t tell me that I might have to pay $3,000.00 per month in alimony!”

I hope you see these two things work hand-in-hand.  Your lawyer can’t give you good advice without knowing all of the facts of your case and without knowing what “bad things” your spouse might bring up to use against you in trial.

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