There have been countless times that I have spoken to a potential client (PC, not to be confused with a personal computer), that has been represented by another attorney, and the PC does not know what is happening in their own case. This is unbelievable to me. They do not know what was filed, they do not know if it has been set for trial, they do not know who the judge is.
A Family Law case is just about the most difficult thing that you do as an adult, short of a death of a close family member. And in some instances Divorce can be worse because it’s the “death” of a marriage and you still have to co-exist with the other party. At least if they were dead you wouldn’t have to deal with them. Glib humor aside, Family Law is hard.
As a client you should know what has been filed; a Joint Complaint or a Fault based Complaint, you should know if you have Court coming up, and you should know who the Judge is. Now, if you were told all of this and chose not to place this info into your permanent memory banks because you have confidence in your attorney and your goal is to get through today, that is ok. But, if you don’t know the details because it has not been explained to you, it is time for a sit down and a heart to heart, seeing eye to eye with your attorney. (BTW, all attorneys have been guilty of this a time or two…) Don’t be afraid to ask who, what, when, where and why? Their job is to answer those questions.
Now in defense of attorneys, sometimes we do explain things and they are misunderstood or are somewhat complex and a short explanation has to do for the meantime. Persons going through Family Law situations can be highly emotional and sometimes it’s information overload. In that circumstance you may choose NOT to explain everything or ask that a family member or trusted friend attend with the client for an in-person meeting. Sometimes the attorney is speaking pig-latin, a bad habit.
As a client, ask what is going on. Know what is going on. It is the rest of your life. (It may just be another case for the attorney.)