1. Talk to your lawyer. Tell your lawyer what your concerns are. Think about your case, what would equal “success” to you? How do you think that can be accomplished? What is most important to you? What is less important?
If you do not feel that you can talk to your lawyer, it does not matter how expensive or cheap the lawyer is. It is easier for the attorney to address issues that concern you before the issues get out of hand. Attorneys can deal with anything that he or she know about, but surprising your attorney with information near the trial date can be damaging. Talk to your lawyer and be truthful.
2. Be aware of your emotional needs. Use the services of a mental health professional. Their hourly rate is often less than your attorney’s rate. Counseling fees are often covered by health insurance. The divorce process is very emotional. Many clients are so upset –who wouldn’t be –that they use their attorney as their therapist. Of course, the client is paying the attorney to listen to their emotional issues. Those emotional issues may be important to the legal case but the unburdening may be cheaper if done with a trusted professional or friend.
3. Your fears are reasonable. Everyone going through a divorce has concerns about financial stability, solitude, and the stress of being a single parent. Being informed and dealing with these concerns is essential.
4. Manage your anger. Frustration and anger are part of the divorce process. It is important to understand the consequences and long-term damage that acting on that anger can cause, especially when children are involved. If you do something out of anger, the result may be costly to your case.
5. Do not ask your lawyer to do something that is illegal or unethical. Lawyers are officers of the Court. They are not permitted to misrepresent information or facts to the Court. Attorneys also cannot permit their clients to misrepresent information or facts to the Court. If you do not follow your attorney’s directions and advice, or if you mislead your attorney, the attorney client relationship may be terminated.
6. Turn to others for support. If you ask your support network (friends, family, counselors) for help, you will generally be surprised at the outpouring of support. Reach out to those who will be there for you on a regular basis. Consider joining a divorce support group or a workshop for single parents.
7. Be prepared. You are often given “homework” and deadlines. You may be asked to completing Sworn Financial Statements, provide documents, respond to interrogatories, and review settlement offers. Although this is often difficult and time-consuming, it is important that you respond in a timely manner. Most cases are on a schedule that is set by the Court. There may be consequences for failing to complete items in the deadlines given by the Court or under the Colorado statutes. If you have questions about what has been asked of you, contact your attorney or their assistant to get help.