"Chris Janelle came through for me at a time when I REALLY needed an ally in my corner."
Chris Janelle came through for me at a time when I REALLY needed an ally in my corner. I can't recommend him enough. Bottom line, he's an exceedingly good man and a credit to his profession and I can't overstate how much his expert counsel protected my financial future and guided me through my personal "troubled waters."
To have a good experience with your family court attorney, ANY family court attorney, you should endeavor to:
- Be an informed client. Listen and take notes when you meet, their time is precious and they're likely juggling DOZENS of concurrent cases, many likely predating yours. Get your questions/thoughts organized ahead of time as best you can. Your attorney is not at your beck and call whenever a thought pops into your head - they just don't have time.
- Be patient. The levers of family court move slowly despite the fact you'll likely be chomping at the bit to get past this difficult hiccup in life ASAP.
- Be realistic about outcomes. It's essentially all about splitting marital assets in most cases, it's not about whose fault it was. Unfortunately, if one spouse earns/possesses more than their spouse, the former will be handing over assets to the latter, no matter who/what prompted the dissolution of the marriage. Except for your family and friends, nobody who actually has a say in the matter really cares about WHY the marriage is dissolved, something that may really gnaw at your sense of fairness, especially if one party is aggrieved by the other party's actions.
- Be cognizant of the negotiation game, You may want your attorney to be a hard ass and go in there fighting like a banshee on your behalf. They will do that for you if you want, but the goal is to be reasonable enough that there's room for give-and-take negotiation with opposing counsel. Try to come to terms with your spouse BEFORE your first hearing and it will likely be your last- you'll walk out of there FREE and ready to venture into an exciting new phase of your life.
This of course will be easier said than done. Your head will be spinning. You'll experience just about every emotion known to humankind, many of them dark and sad and uncharted. Keep your wits about you and incorporate the suggestions about into your psyche/behavior as best you can and you'll likely emerge with your sanity and dignity intact. Fight the urge to retaliate, to lash out, to exact revenge. That urge will be powerful. BE VERY MINDFUL to not blow your spouse up on social media- you can be fined and certainly won't look good for you if it goes to trial. If you can manage to avoid all that and keep it amicable, despite the fact you may be seething inside, you may just walk out of court with a smile on your face like I did.
Disclaimer: Your situation will be different than mine, potentially more painful and difficult. I wish you nothing but the best as you navigate through this difficult process.