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The importance of the client/attorney partnership in divorce

When a marriage is heading south, one of the first steps that most Florida spouses will take is to hire a family law attorney to represent their interests. Often, the spouses involved have little or no experience with the process of divorce. Even those who have gone through a prior divorce are limited to the lessons learned during that experience. While having solid legal counsel is always a good idea. It is important to understand that the attorney/client relationship is a partnership.

A divorce attorney is well-versed in the laws of his or her state of practice. He or she is also familiar with courtroom procedures, negotiation strategies and other aspects of the process of moving from married to single. However, a divorce attorney has virtually no knowledge of the unique set of circumstances that each client presents. That means that customizing a divorce solution that is favorable to the client requires that party's active participation.

Spouses must act as their own advocate throughout the divorce process. Because there are so many choices to be made and approaches that are available, even the best attorney cannot hit the mark without a degree of guidance. Spouses must come to the table prepared with a list of priorities, goals and a vision for how they would like their future to be shaped. Only then can the attorney do his or her job to the fullest extent.

Divorce is a difficult experience, and one that most people in Florida dread. Even so, handing off all of the decision-making to one's attorney is never the best approach. In order to obtain a resolution that is in one's best interests and in line with one's goals, it is necessary to form a strong alliance with the professional hired to guide the process to completion.

Source: The Huffington Post, "What I Regret About My Divorce (It Isn't What You Think)", Al Corona, April 26, 2016

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