The Best Advice A Family Law Attorney Can Give
In my almost fifteen years as a Las Vegas Family Law Attorney, my practice has handled well over two thousand divorce and other family law cases. In doing so, we have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and insight that we didn’t have when we first started in family law. We thought it was about time to share our advice with those of you going through a divorce and/or custody case.
- Make sure you really want a divorce: I cant tell you the number of times I have clients come to see my who really aren’t sure their marriage is over. I often tell potential clients that I have two types of prospective divorce clients: (1) those that know their marriage is over and know they are getting divorce; OR (2) those looking for information but they really aren’t sure that divorce is for them. It is important to decide which client you are before you see a lawyer. Trust us, there are a lot of cheaper and faster ways to obtain information about divorce than sitting with a lawyer for an hour and paying a couple hundred dollars for a consultation if you aren’t sure you really want a divorce. If you really aren’t sure, your money might be better spent getting a therapist first.
- Put Your Kids First: I find myself at least once a day telling clients that it isn’t about them and it isn’t about their ex. It is about their kids. It will always be about their kids. The law even says that judges have to do what is in the best interest of the kids. Before you ever meet with a lawyer or consider filing a court case, you should be asking if what you’re about to do is best for your kids.
- Get Solid Legal Advice From The Beginning: Many prospective clients come to me with questions that are just completely ridiculous. However, we hear the same questions over and over. In digging a little deeper, we find that prospective clients have talked to a friend, co-worker or family member who has been through a divorce or custody battle and has filled their head with completely impossible expectations. If you decide a divorce or custody case is what you need, get good legal advice from the beginning.
- Be Prepared to Settle: There is not a single litigant in any case, anywhere that can tell you that they 100% received every single thing out of their lawsuit that they wanted. Most cases settle, especially divorce and custody cases. If you aren’t prepared to give, even just a little, from the very beginning of your case, you are going to be in for a long, expensive battle and you will likely be disappointed at the end.
- Figure Out What You Really Want From Your Case: Some clients just want a divorce. Others know they need spousal support. Still others just want custody of their kids. It is important to decide what it is you want from your case at the outset. Your attorney should be able to help guide you to determine whether these expectations are realistic. A good family law attorney may also help you discover things you didn’t even know you wanted.
- No Violence Ever: This should go without saying but seriously the number of cases we see that have TPOs, police involvement and arrests are astounding. There will come a time in your divorce or custody case that you will want to throttle your ex. Keep your cool and don’t lose it. It’s not worth your freedom and it could end up costing you your kids.
- Remember that what is good for your ex should also be good for you: In a recent custody case, I had my client tell me that they didn’t want to let their ex take the kids on vacation. Ever. When I asked the client if she would also be ok never taking the kids on vacation, she looked at me like I was from another planet and then responded of course not. At this point she understood that if she was going to make unreasonable requests of her ex, she should expect to also be the recipient of those same unreasonable requests. The point here is that before you insist on certain behaviors from your ex, you too should be prepared to live by the same rules.
- Protect your valuables and important documents, before you file: I think we have given this advice in other articles, but it is worth repeating here. It never fails that items go missing once a spouse files for divorce. Whether it is photos, a wedding ring, birth certificates, passports or a favorite piece of memorabilia, if it means something to you, you should probably keep it in a safe place and away from your spouse.
- Be Patient: Custody and divorce cases are emotional and can be very nerve wracking. It affects almost every aspect of your life including but not limited to your time, your money, your family, your job and your home. Some cases last a long time and some are over quickly. Some cases are more emotional than others. Sometimes children start to act out and misbehave. Often times, judges don’t do exactly what you want them to do, when you want them to do it. It is important to remember to be patient during this process because it is a process.
Experiencing a family law issue can be overwhelming and stressful. Knowledgeable family law attorneys do much more than represent clients, they understand how choices made in the legal process can drastically affect life afterwards. If you or someone you know needs a Las Vegas Family Law Attorney, call us today. We can help.