If I had a nickel for every post I saw in a Facebook group looking for an “aggressive” family lawyer or a “pit bull” of a family law attorney, I would be a rich woman. These types of requests make me cringe. Instead, I wish people would seek out a good, knowledgeable attorney who will look out for their best interests and help them resolve the case in the best possible way.
More often than not, “aggressive” does not achieve those goals. I know a handful of other attorneys who I would put into the “aggressive, pit bull” category, and they are awful to work with. I feel terrible for my clients when there is one of these folks on the other side. It almost always means higher bills, more discovery, more time spent in court, and more heartache in an already difficult situation. Sure, you may be mad at your soon-to-be ex-spouse, and you may want to go after him with guns blazing. An aggressive attorney is ready to go with those guns blazing at all costs, but is that really in your or your children’s best interest? Or, would you be better off reaching a reasonable, fair settlement and moving on with your life without wasting tens of thousands of dollars on attorney’s fees?
In my opinion, the ideal attorney will do a great job on your behalf in court, but she will also help you try and avoid going to court at all. She will work hard to keep your costs down, help you understand the process, help you know what is necessary and what is not in terms of discovery and court hearings, help you understand the most likely outcome if you do end up in court, and help you settle the case, if at all possible.