Last week was trial week in my office. We presented to the Court a fairly substantial estate to value and divide between the parties. What made the case unique was that the parties initially represented themselves.
There is nothing wrong with representing yourself in Court. However, you had better be sure that you know everything about your financial affairs before representing yourself. In the case we tried to the Court here in Louisville, one party did not disclose a substantial asset when the case was first settled by the parties. The Court had to set aside their original Agreement and start all over.
Last week made me think about the quality of representation you retain. It should be fairly obvious that it is in your best interest to hire the best legal counsel available.
A good lawyer can analyze your case and give you a range of reasonably acceptable conclusions. That same lawyer will not become emotionally enmeshed in their representation of you or uncritically adopt your position. Finally, your lawyer should get you ready for life after the divorce as best he or she can.
Oftentimes, clients are worried that their spouse hired a “good lawyer”. It is invariably in your best interest for your spouse to have the best lawyer available. I am always relieved when an opponent secures good representation.
As I write this, I am reflecting on the trial we had last week. From the beginning of this case until about a year ago, the opposing party was not represented. A year ago, quality counsel was retained. It has made such a difference for my client. We have been able to make agreements where we should and describe for the Court the areas where we could not agree and needed help.
If you are faced with a difficult situation and need representation, please give me a call. Also, encourage your spouse to do the same. My grandfather used to say “Measure twice, cut once”. This maxim applies to the legal world as well as anywhere else. Upfront work will save you backend heartache everytime.