The Darkside of Divorce
A few weeks ago, I attended a networking event and a person approached me and shared their experience in their career as a real estate agent. As an afterthought, they asked what I did and I informed the individual that I am an attorney that predominantly works in the area of family law. Normally, this would be a tremendous connection because so many people who are experiencing the life change of divorce need to sell a home and possibly buy a new one to begin to establish their new normal. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, however, their face changed to a look of disgust. I was then lectured regarding their experience having endured two divorces thus leading them to form the opinion that attorneys who practice in my area of law are evil and the scum of the earth.
The Phantom Menace
I left this encounter feeling very badly because I do not view my position in this way. It is my belief that an attorney is a tool to be utilized by the client to achieve their goals. I personally wish that all divorces be amicable but I am not so naive as to believe that this is the case. Emotions run high, lives are in the balance and clients act to protect what they determine to be best for their families. My office is very experienced in highly contentious divorces but I make all attempts to try and achieve agreement where and whenever possible for the benefit of my client. After all, I am my client’s advocate in the truest sense of the word.
A New Hope
There are attorneys who are known as being unnecessarily combative and overly litigious. Each client, though, is free to hire an attorney who fits their individual desires. I believe each client should hire an attorney whose persona provides them the ability to meet their goals in the method that they choose. A client should ask themselves if they are seeking blood or only looking for what is due to them. I can only assume the former was the experience encountered by the real estate agent.
Personally, I view my role as seeking to meet the goals that my client sets forth in the best interests of their family. This is not to say that I only fight on the side of good but rather that I am assisting people through a difficult process while explaining their options. Many clients come to me in mentally, physically, emotionally or economically abusive relationships. Helping these clients accomplish their goals can be a gut-wrenching experience that for their mental health and physical wellbeing, needs to take place. How can assisting someone through an escape from those situations – harnessing the court and all of the tools available to protect and free someone from abusive bonds of matrimony – be considered anything but a force of good?