Television and motion pictures frequently cast brash, brusque and aggressive attorneys to argue criminal cases, corporate cases and even divorces. And while an aggressive approach is appropriate in certain contexts, it is very rarely the best approach when parties are trying to resolve family law disputes. Even if your spouse, co-parent or domestic abuser has hired an aggressive attorney, you may not necessarily benefit from doing the same.
Resolving family legal disputes can be a complex and uniquely sensitive process. Rarely do family law judges or opposing counsel embrace an aggressive approach with much success. For example, child custody disputes are meant to be resolved in the best interests of the child involved. If one parent’s attorney is overly-aggressive, it may paint that parent in an uncooperative light. If a parent is not seen as willing to cooperate with another fit parent, the court may tip the scales in favor of the parent who is seen as willing to cooperate and communicate openly.
In addition, the vast majority of divorce settlements are settled before trial. If your attorney is overly-aggressive, he or she may have a far more difficult time securing a fair settlement for you and may even push you to litigate an otherwise amicable divorce. Fighting when unnecessary costs clients time and money.
It is important to understand your boundaries and to stand your ground on issues that are deal-breakers for you. However, most family law disputes are most effectively settled when approached with a spirit of compromise. An overly-aggressive attorney may imperil your ability to reach a peaceful agreement in a reasonable amount of time and at a low cost to you.
Source: Huffington Post, “Think You Want a Bulldog Lawyer? Think Again,” David Centeno, Nov. 26, 2013