Hiring An Aggressive Divorce Attorney Is Not Always Best

Paul SterlingOct 13, 2009 | edited Aug 13, 2014 - by @PaulSterling

When a person goes through a divorce, a common misperception is that hiring an aggressive lawyer is important in getting a fair outcome. Although sometimes it is appropriate for an attorney to aggressively advocate for their client, continuous aggressive bulldogging can be detrimental to the case, resulting in a more expensive, drawn out case.

Appropriate situations for aggressive advocacy include:

– If a code provision in state law validates your position, and the opposing party is unaware of it.

– If the client wants to take a principled stand even though he has been advised that he is unlikely to prevail, and is willing to expend a lot of resources to make that argument.

– If opposing party attempts to intimidate you or your attorney, taking an assertive stance communicates that you will not be a pushover and sets the stage for negotiations rather than bullying.

Aggression can be detrimental when the parties are attempting to settle and the attorney is aggressively looking for a reason to reject each offer rather than trying to problem solve.

One example would be an attorney yelling at opposing counsel during mediation, “Why are you wasting my time with that stupid proposal? Give me something better than that.” A more productive response would be for the lawyer to counter with a new proposal and give opposing party something to work with rather than flat out rejecting the offer.

The difference between those two examples is that the aggressiveness of the first example does not contribute to the negotiations or move the parties closer to settlement. It will probably just make everyone more emotional and angry. This kind of repeated behavior can take a case that should easily settle and push it to trial, needlessly expending the client's time and money and potentially not resulting in any better outcome than the offers during settlement negotiations.

About the Author:
Attorney Michael S. Dyer Author Nov 14, 2010

Being aggressive does not mean being unrealistic. It is important to represent your clients with as much fervor as possible. That does not mean go above what it is they are asking for simply because you can, that means exercise your judgement as an Attorney and give your client the best possible outcome. You can read my blog or my site for more informatiion:

edited Nov 14, 2010 - by @AttorneyMichaelSDyer28108
Divorce and Parenting Author Jun 04, 2010

To protect yourself from hiring a ?divorce specialist? who is in fact a jack of all trades (lawyers can practice in any/several areas of the law they like) find a divorce lawyer who can substantiate that they are a divorce specialist. A genuine divorce specialist will understand your concerns and be ready to do this. Alternatively, limit your search to lawyers who work in law firms specializing in divorce.
.-= Divorce and Parenting´s last blog ..Marriage Counseling ? One of the Greatest Causes of Divorce =-.

edited Jun 04, 2010 - by @DivorceandParenting28358
Divorce Online Author Jun 04, 2010

To know how to find a divorce lawyer with this in mind, consider various aspects of your divorce. For instance, do you anticipate an amicable or contentious divorce? If contentious, is there any hope that your spouse will be open to compromise and cooperation? Are you willing and/or able to fund a divorce case lengthened by conflict? And importantly, if you have children are you prepared to prolong a divorce which inevitably affects them too?
.-= Divorce Online´s last blog ..How to Ask for a Divorce =-.

edited Jun 04, 2010 - by @DivorceOnline28359
Families of Divorce Author Jun 04, 2010

It is important, then, to choose a divorce lawyer who is someone you like and believe you can communicate well with. A lawyer with good interpersonal skills is also likely to get along with other people involved in your divorce, from secretaries to court judges.
.-= Families of Divorce´s last blog ..Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Divorce =-.

edited Jun 04, 2010 - by @FamiliesofDivorce28420
Legal Separation Author Jun 04, 2010

Do you want an aggressive lawyer? A lot of potential clients have a pretty clear idea that they want either an aggressive lawyer or a lawyer who focuses on compromise and negotiation. Fortunately, most clients have at least some understanding that compromise and negotiation are at the heart of the vast majority of ?winning? family law situations. Both parties are usually the losers in litigation.
.-= Legal Separation´s last blog ..The Lowdown On A Quick NY Divorce =-.

edited Jun 04, 2010 - by @LegalSeparation28742
Premarital Counseling Author Jun 04, 2010

Many people going through a divorce feel that they need an aggressive attorney to represent them, or the outcome will end up being unfair to them. At certain times during a divorce case, aggressively advocating for a client is appropriate, however constant aggression can backfire and end up costing the client a lot more financially and emotionally.
.-= Premarital Counseling´s last blog ..About Catholic Marriage Counseling =-.

edited Jun 04, 2010 - by @PremaritalCounseling28989
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