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What you need to know about Divorce

While communication may be the key to a successful marriage, it is definitely the key to a successful divorce.

We suggest that it should be the role of your attorney to ensure that information, reassurance and the solution to your problems are relayed in a timely, courteous and efficient fashion.

To best serve you, a skilled family law practitioner needs your cooperation:

a) Know your law firm's telephone and fax numbers, office hours and staff names.

b) Give your attorney all addresses and phone numbers where you can be reached during the day and night.

c) Call the office regarding any questions or problems that arise. Explain the matter to a staff member who should have an immediate solution or can arrange to get back to you. If you find you are calling frequently, make a list of questions and save them for one call. This will help you prioritize and focus your concerns and allow your attorney to proceed in an organized and coherent manner.

d) Give your lawyer all pertinent information. If you are nervous or afraid to tell your attorney something, put it in writing.

e) Write down in detail any problems or questions that worry you and forward them to your attorney. This helps provide direct information and enables your attorney to pinpoint and perhaps head off future problems. This record becomes a part of your file for future use and review.

f) Consider keeping a daily diary. Talk to your attorney about whether this will be needed in your case. It may provide you with a record of events and document which questions arise and when.

g) Read all correspondence and keep them in a folder for future use and reference. You should receive copies of all pleadings and letters throughout your case.

h) Review Monthly Statements. These detail legal services performed for you in the last month, the charges for them, and the amount drawn from your attorney's initial retainer. If you have questions about your statement, please call your attorneys or their bookkeeper within ten (10) days of receiving your bill. Billing errors should always be most liberally construed in favor of the client. Even though you may be seeking reimbursement of legal fees from your spouse by court order, you are responsible for your attorney's fees. Try to keep current with your bill if the initial retainer has been exhausted. Any court order requiring your spouse to reimburse you is incidental to your responsibility to your attorney.

(i) Follow your attorneys instructions. You're paying for their advice -please take it. Even a doctor can't cure you if you don't take the medicine they've prescribed.

(j) Meet with your attorney occasionally to assess current progress on your case and to formulate future strategy for its resolution.

As part of this process, we strongly suggest that you have your attorney review your current will, or if you do not have one, prepare one immediately. Intestate succession laws may conflict with your wishes for the allocation of your estate or welfare of your children.