Probably the most common area of law that we help with is Illinois divorce law. Plain and simple there are just more of those cases than any other area of law. We help people find the right attorney no matter what their situation is, but divorce is clearly the most common.
While some divorces are clean breaks, many involve hurt feelings and people acting on emotion instead of logic. Because of this, crazy things can happen that can, well, drive you crazy.
The #1 problem is from soon to be ex’s acting like a jerk and doing whatever they can to get under your skin. A good lawyer can’t always do something about that, but we can try.
The #2 problem though is created by lawyers. A recent caller to my office is typical of the problems a bad attorney can create in this situation. My caller is a stay at home mom with three kids. She and her husband both want the divorce, although he moved a little faster than she did and got a lawyer.
The lawyer had her served with a petition for dissolution of marriage, e.g. a divorce petition. She didn’t know it was coming, but it didn’t rattle her. What did cause a problem were the contents of the petition. In it, the lawyer asked that she move out of the maritial home, give him full custody of the kids with no visitation for her, pay him child support, pay him his lawyer fees, give up any rights to the joint bank account or other marital property and have her pay him maintenance. Mind you that one of the kids has special needs, she’s been a stay at home mom for 15 years and while she did a couple years of college, he’s a medical doctor pulling in a mid six figure salary.
Needless to say, she was stunned and then pissed off and then a little bit frightened. Her husband gave her no indication that this was coming and beyond that, he hardly spends any time with the kids. She called me and was ready to go to war.
We’ve been helping people find the best lawyer for their case for almost 15 years via our state wide network of experienced, successful law firms. The lawyers we recommend fight for their clients and they are people who we as attorneys would hire ourselves.
We don’t just recommend lawyers though, we also provide free legal guidance. Part of being a good attorney is helping take the emotion out of the situation and getting a client to be goal focused.
What I explained to this caller is that her husband clearly has a terrible attorney. Basically the lawyer presented what would be an extreme best case scenario. Lawyers without skills will use this tactic so they can have a lot of room to negotiate on a case and act as if they are really compromising when they give up on some of their demands. It’s a pretty amateur move. It would be similar to the agent for a baseball player who hit .250 the year before asking the team to pay him $30 million a year so he won’t look as unreasonable when he asks for $10 million a year. I can tell you that it doesn’t work in sports and doesn’t work on good attorneys.
I was able to talk this very nice woman off the ledge and let her know that based on what she told me, she’ll actually end up getting just about everything her husband’s lawyer was asking for if this goes to court. It’s clear that either his attorney is inexperienced or is just trying to create a battle to run up some huge bill. It’s really his client who will be hurt by this.
These types of motions aren’t much different than when your ex says something like, “You’ll never see the kids again!” It’s really easy to let them get you riled up, but you have to take emotion out of the equation and remember that they aren’t the Judge and you certainly shouldn’t take legal advice from them.
If your ex or any opponent in a legal case is making you insane, the best advice I can give you is to relax, take a step back and put your case in the hands of someone who will fight for you, but isn’t going to make emotional decisions. Of course helping you find that person is what we do better than anyone else. Fill out our contact form to the right if you’d like our help. It’s free and confidential.