The stress of getting a divorce can drive people into doing crazy things that do not help their strategic position. Not only do you have to deal with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse but you also have to deal with their lawyer. This person may be out to squeeze as much money out of you and present you in a bad light in the very public forum, the courtroom. An experienced divorce lawyer can help.
A lawyer who knows the players in the system can anticipate what the other side will do. When you get an offer it helps to put it in context. Does the other side have a case? Is the amount they are asking justified? Are they playing head games?
You want to hire a lawyer who knows the strategies used by other lawyers and can quickly prepare counter strategies. If you are dealing with a lawyer who tends to take a long time to settle, you should prepare your responses accordingly. In this case, you would not want to offer your best offer right off the bat. In other situations, the opposing lawyer will likely move quickly. In which case, your legal team should be prepared to respond.
Sometimes, simply knowing how the other lawyer is likely to play the game can be helpful. If you are dealing with a lawyer who drags out cases, you want someone to tell you it could take a while to get your divorce so that you can prepare emotionally.
If the other side is acting out of line, your lawyer can help. Instead of replying with a weak, emotional, spontaneous, unplanned and unstrategic response, ask you lawyer if the other side’s behavior can be used to your advantage. For example, if your spouse is interfering with your access to your children that you are entitled to, talk to your lawyer about documenting what your spouse is doing. This can be used as evidence in court. If you receive threatening letters, do not write back when you are angry. Show this correspondence to your lawyer and ask for advice.
In summary, getting divorced can be a messy business. You need a strategy for dealing with your spouse and with your spouse’s lawyer. An experienced family law attorney can quickly determine the best strategy for you given the facts of the case, the way your spouse is behaving and the expected approach the opposing lawyer is likely to take.