So, I want to talk a little bit about the role that clients have when they hire an attorney and how clients and attorneys interact during the course of a family law case. Once again, keep in mind that there are a lot of examples of the types of family law cases that are in the system.
Without the cooperation of a client, a lawyer cannot effectively do their job. Lawyers are trained to present their client’s side of the facts and version of the case that would be in the light most favorable to their client, and at the same time, exposing the weaknesses or the problems that the other side has.
So, let me give you an example. A cooperative client is very useful to me as a lawyer in presenting information about the other party that I would not have any knowledge of or access to. And in a case involving a child custody situation, where my client has known the other party for 10, 15, or even 20 years, it’s very helpful to me as a lawyer for the client to give me a lot of information about the other parent.
In a situation that has come up recently, my client was able to go back in time and tell me about the fact that the other parent had a long history of mental illness, was taking lots of medication, and had lots of mood swings, and that this affected that parent’s parenting. As a result of that, we were able to get a favorable outcome for my client to show that, even though this other parent was a loving person, there were lots of problems associated with a long history of drug use and mental illness.
The last thing that I want to discuss about a cooperating parent is this: Your lawyer knows the judge. Your lawyers knows the system, if they are experienced, and they have tried hundreds and hundreds of cases. So, when a lawyer makes a recommendation that a client go take a drug class, go to the Center on Fathering, produce certain records, the lawyer’s not doing that because the lawyer just wants to get you to do work. A lawyer is doing that so you can craft solutions to your case that are going to present you in a favorable light when the case goes to trial or a hearing in front of the judge.
So, without the cooperation of clients, lawyers lose their effectiveness to make arguments in court, and it diminishes the likelihood of success in front of a judge.