The makings of an affective divorce lawyer requires high dexterity. Dexterity is one of those words that you don’t use all too often. It crossed my path at the age of 9 or so, when playing Dungeons and Dragons (not sure that game is still around). Dexterity is a measure of a person’s agility in the motor skill arena. The higher someone’s dexterity, the sharper turns they can make running at a fast pace. Its the thing that defines nimble or having cat-like reflexes. Not all have it.
Divorce is a quick and fast monster of a civil case. Most civil lawsuits take a few years from start to finish, however, the typical divorce takes less than 12 months, and lawyers cram all the same legal devices that into that timeframe that you would otherwise see in other civil cases. Rather numbing and everything involves quick jerk reaction. Trials too are truncated. What could be a week of trial, is forced into an afternoon – maybe two afternoons, if your Judge is accommodating.
So, a good measure of your divorce lawyer, is their dexterity level. Only the ones that are quick to respond and take action appear to get their client’s issue in front of the Judge, when an agreement can’t otherwise be obtained on that topic. But how do you measure whether or not your lawyer has high dexterity? The answer is not easy.
Many spouses in divorce complain that their lawyer doesn’t return their calls often enough, or soon enough. This is certainly problematic, but not a direct indicator of a lawyer’s abilities or inabilities. Many times, lawyers have to weed out those emotional issues from the true legal issues. So, if you’re calling your attorney time after time because your spouse is feeding the kids fruit-loops for dinner, your call may not be returned for a while. There are real problems to deal with, didn’t you know? So, whats the test?
A lawyer with high dexterity level, usually doesn’t let issues just rot on his or her desk. The real issues are addressed and quickly so. The attempt to call your spouse’s attorney first to see if an agreement can be worked out is generally a waste of time. This worked many moons ago, but in today’s world, most agreements are cut in the Courthouse because there is a pending motion before the Judge. Spouses settle better and faster, when the hearing is about to start in 10 minutes. Calls prior to a hearing are usually unproductive. There are exceptions.
So, with every issue, your attorney should bring a motion. The motion should be out the door within 3 days. Period. If you’re getting a response from your lawyer that a motion is warranted, but you’re not seeing the motion being prepared for your review within a few days, it’s time to run. And run fast with much dexterity.