How crazy do you have to be to get in the middle of a fight between divorcing spouses? As crazy as a family law attorney apparently! Divorce lawyers have to deal with difficult situations, often acting as the voice of reason to get their clients to accept fair settlements. Unfortunately some clients won’t listen to that voice.
Getting Rational Decisions from Irrational Clients
New Yorkis a no fault state. That means that, in theory, a divorce is an unemotional, unbiased financial transaction. You fill out the NY net worth statement; crunch some numbers, present equitable property settlement and support figures and move on to the next case. Right?
Yeah, uh, no.
Real divorce is emotional. Family law attorneys use the financial statements to reduce the negotiations to cold numbers and that helps some clients make objective choices. Unfortunately other clients refuse to let go of the negativity. They try to drag their attorneys into their rage, make unreasonable decisions that jeopardize the case, lie about assets to keep a bigger portion of the pie, and overall make life harder for everyone. What is a hard-working lawyer to do with these hot-headed clients?
Family law attorneys have to carefully balance showing clients a little emotional support vs. becoming the client’s new best pal. This is harder with irrational clients. The best option can be to make contact more impersonal: email over phone calls, phone calls over face-to-face visits. People complain that technology makes society impersonal, but sometimes that’s what the situation warrants.
NY AutoFill is a secure web portal attorneys can use to gather information for import into EzSupport-NY, Easy Soft’s NY family law software. The client provides all the information from home without needing to meet with the attorney. The attorney imports the information and most of the work is done. EzSupport-NY generates a host of forms and correspondence, all of which can be emailed to the client from right within the program. This helps the attorney maintain a professional distance from a clingy client.
Some clients are so mad at the world that they end up taking it out on their attorneys. Even if you get your client a great settlement, some people aren’t satisfied with anything less than 100%. Suddenly you have a client complaining that you didn’t do your job, and maybe even filing a complaint with your state bar association.
EzSupport-NY allows you to add documentation to the case so you have more than just a Statement of Net Worth to show for it. Add case notes, link to electronic documents and back up your New York State spousal support and child support offers with worksheets and analysis statements. You can prove to anyone that you provided due diligence to the case and did everything you could to get your client a fair deal.
Even crazy clients deserve legal representation but don’t make your job harder than it needs to be. Use legal practice management software to protect yourself and your practice, as well as finding the best deals for your clients.