In yesterday’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC we introduced the topic of the attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in learning more about how a law office handles your case on a daily basis as well as what you need to be prepared for as far as responsibilities in your case are concerned I highly recommend that you go back and read through that blog.
Collect documents and information early and often
Just because you have handed your attorney a small chunk of your net worth and an even larger amount of good-faith does not mean that all the work on your case from that point forward is to be done by your attorney. Far from that. Ultimately every decision in your case will be made by you with the assistance and advice of your attorney.
Part of your responsibility as a client is to assist your attorney in creating a strong case. A strong case is built upon facts that can be used advantageously in the courtroom if necessary.
Even though going to a trial is unlikely given how frequently settlements occur in divorce cases it is still important to be able to present a strong case to your judge. With that said, how can you best assist your attorney in the incredibly important task of building your case?
Filling out information packets, inventories and appraisements and similar documents are a start. These are basic questions that your attorney will need to have completed in order so that he or she can learn important facts about your life.
Your income, your children’s activities, your spouse’s income and any pertinent family history will all be discussed in these documents. How your family property is broken down into community vs. separate and how you value your property is crucially important in formulating arguments to present as well.
In collecting documents like tax returns, pay stubs, bank, and retirement account information you are helping your attorney and teaching yourself more about your case than you may have realized.
The majority of this work can be done before you even hire an attorney. Save yourself time and money by getting to work on this now. Collect documents and begin to take inventory of your life.
Become comfortable with being in charge of your case
You are not an expert on divorce. You are not an expert on the law. You are an expert on yourself, your family and what is best for your children. Nobody (outside of your spouse) will ever know more about yourself, your family and your children then you will. As a result, you are your attorney’s greatest resource when it comes to preparing a case.
With this being said, you as the expert and owner of your case will be charged with making all decisions about whether to settle, go to trial or make individual decisions regarding custody, child support and any other subject.
Examine your life and think about what is in your best interests and that of your children. If you have a question about how your thoughts line up with your attorney’s simply contact him or her. You can seek your attorney’s counsel on any subject you wish. You’re paying them for that advice, keep in mind.
At a certain level though you are relying on your attorney’s judgment and expertise and should defer to him or her as a result. Drafting certain documents in certain ways, formulating questions at a hearing or even allowing a hearing or mediation to be pushed back a few weeks are areas where you ought to listen to your attorney and allow him or her to take the lead.
If something doesn’t make sense to you then obviously ask for a clarification. In general, however, keep in mind that while you will be making all the decisions in your case there are micro-level decisions that are best left to your attorney.
Maintaining the attorney-client privilege
The most special aspect of the relationship between your attorney and you is that your communications are privileged, meaning that they are confidential.
Outside of telling your attorney something about abuse/neglect of a child or the details of a crime that has been committed, your attorney is not at liberty to discuss any of your communications between one another without your consent. If you have sent an email to your attorney, had a conversation over the phone or even completed paperwork, this confidentiality applies to each of those situations.
Read the contract between yourself and your attorney
This may seem obvious but it is a tip that I cannot emphasize enough. Please read the contract that you are signing with your attorney. It is not enough to skim the document or to ask your attorney to summarize it.
Go through every word on every page so that you understand what you are getting yourself into as far as representation is concerned. Your attorney can be the best advocate ever but if you and he/she are in disagreement overpayment or any other issue then the relationship can quickly become a negative one for you.
Our office will go over the contract with you prior to both sides signing and I would recommend that you make sure any lawyer you hire do the same with you. Ask questions and get clarifications if necessary. Start your case off on the right foot by understanding the nature of your relationship and the responsibilities that both sides have to one another.
Questions about the attorney-client relationship? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC today
Across southeast Texas, people just like you have chosen to have the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC work on their behalf. For a free of charge consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys please contact us today.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Details about the Attorney-Client Relationship
- Tips for hiring a divorce attorney in Texas, Part Three
- Tips for hiring a divorce attorney in Texas
- Tips for hiring a divorce attorney in Texas, Part Two
- Hiring a Divorce or Family Lawyer in Spring, Texas
- Why do divorces cost so much in Texas?
- How Much Will My Texas Divorce Cost?
- 8 Tips for Reducing the Cost of a Divorce in Texas
- $300 Divorce Cost a Man $100,000 in Texas
- Low cost and affordable divorces, attorneys, websites and divorce Costs in Texas
- 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
- SUCH AN EASY DIVORCE? THAT HUSBAND MAY LOSE HIS HOUSE!
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.