Monday, October 27, 2008

Preparing To Divorce - A Gripe

For the most part I liked what How to Divorce – A Better Understanding has to say about preparing for a divorce.

The first step, before you decide how to divorce is to equip yourself with enough knowledge about the divorce process. Divorce is a series of legal proceedings and, if you want to get the best results, it is important that you know the rules and that you are able to participate effectively. Learning how to divorce may be hard, but with a little help, it can become a lot easier.

I have a major problem with part of this paragraph:

Having a divorce lawyer is not enough. Letting him make all the decisions and do all the work in this legal process, will not necessarily get you the outcome that you want. You should take part in all of the decision-making, so that you can monitor the proceedings and ensure the things that you want. You should also be able to really understand what is happening inside the court and the whole process of the divorce.

It is not my job - or any other lawyer's job - to "make all the decisions." Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(a) (Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer) tells us who is to make decisions:

Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), a lawyer shall abide by a client's decisions concerning the objectives of representation and, as required by Rule 1.4, shall consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation. A lawyer shall abide by a client's decision whether to settle a matter. In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client's decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive jury trial and whether the client will testify

On the other hand, this paragraph has a good idea but I do not know of classes like this in my general area. Indianapolis/Marion County might have this kind of class.

You can learn about the process by going to a class. There are already many courses teaching people how they would be able to make divorce easier and better. These classes help you learn and understand more about the divorce process and how to divorce, in general. It would certainly help a family manage the changes caused by the divorce.

The suggestions about reading books on how to divorce and checking out the Internet are also very good ideas. One purpose I had for this blog was to educate. I think most family law bloggers provide the same service. (The blog also teaches me. Preparing for a divorce was not a subject I dealt with often in my practice but a subject I deal with quite often here). Education means that you need to explore this blog, my blogroll and other blogs for more than a specific answer to a specific question. You may be asking the wrong question and you may be missing a better answer by being too narrow.

For instance, you can use the search box at the top of the page to find other posts here on the subject of preparing for a divorce. I actively promote the idea of preparation. It gives the client the opportunity of creating a better factual basis. Better facts make for a better case and a happier time for you and your lawyer.

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