Sometimes clients want to spend money to make their spouse or the other party or participants lives a living hell, and money is not an object? Or some may just want to get back at another, but at same time, try to get their own rights straightened out?
A good attorney will always ask clients what their goal is, what are they trying to get, what is motivating them, and can they afford to do more, less or inbetween; is there a possibility the other party will have to help pay fees? Is there something the other party did that deserves the scrutiny of the Court? Or have things just gone bad due to some turn of events? Did one person commit a series of lies? Are the kids being coached to lie about you? Is the difficulty of the cased based upon money, or people who are working to de-rail your efforts? Is one party guilty of severe actions that were set up purposely to ruin all the finances? Was a secret source of income hidden? Or more than several sources? Did a family member target you purposely to be difficult?
IN both family law, criminal and even regular civil cases, there are nearly ALWAYS participants that lie. Nearly always.
And if there are financial issues, we seldom see everyone tell the truth or disclose everything correctly. A good attorney will know what to look for or hunt down, especially if he/she has been out there as an attorney for decades. The experienced attorney will have a keen inquiry as to many, many things that are multi-faceted; the inexperienced attorney will lack that ability. In fact, attorneys lacking courtroom experience is common....as seen in this editorial:
Plaintiff Attorney Francis Malofiy During Closing Arguments: Day Six_________________________________________
Actually, many attorneys are not court litigators. Some are, but many are there only to avoid Court. Surprised? Don't be.
Most criminal attorneys are used to actual litigation. Even high stakes civil litigation involves a lot of motion practice, and tentative rulings.
If a family law attorney has not done trials, then don't pick one that has not done trials. It is only by doing the trials that one can become good at it. Arguing an issue for five minutes is not trial work. Law and motion is not a trial.
A truly honest attorney that can read people well, communicate, and yet understand a client who has not simply spelled out everything, is to be desired. The ability to talk to clients on a personal level but with professional skill is highly desirable. Most attorneys are very businesslike because they believe clients seek out that quality. Clients in a business may want that-- but in Family Law, most clients are not running businesses. Even if they are, they usually have financial people (accountant, tax person, financial planner,etc.) An attorney needs to listen very closely to clients so that he/she can steer the case properly. If you find that your attorney is more interested in watching the time clock, or talking about non issues, you should probably get a different attorney. Just saying.
[Previously posted in 2017 on same site by atty]