With divorce in the headlines, lawyers across the country are scrambling to figure out how to get through the thicket.
A growing number of courts have set up task forces to guide lawyers on how to deal with the growing number and complexity of divorces.
A new report from Personal Injury Lawyers Association, however, suggests that while these efforts are helpful, the advice they offer is often misleading.
“It’s not uncommon to see lawyers in this business who are very well versed in divorce law, but then they would be able to do very little to help a client who is in a position of greatest need,” said Michael Kessel, an attorney with Kessel & Associates.
“And when they go and do help a couple, the vast majority of the time it’s not going to be in the best interests of the client.”
As many as 80% of divorcing couples have multiple assets, including children, and their ability to divide up the assets is often at odds with their ability and willingness to work together to get the best outcome for their children.
Many of the issues that can arise in the process of a divorce include money and custody issues, and the divorce law community often struggles to address them.
“There is a perception among some attorneys that you can do a lot better if you are not a lawyer,” Kessel said.
“I think a lot of people are afraid to say, ‘I’m going to teach you how to do it.'”
As attorneys, we have to take this stuff very seriously, and we also have to be extremely cautious.
“The divorce law is a difficult business,” Kube said.
“[But] we have the best attorneys on the planet.”
But Kube, who has been working in the family law arena for nearly 30 years, doesn’t see the law being the problem.
“If you look at the people who are really trying to make the divorce work, it’s the same people.
They all have very good lawyers, and they are the same lawyers who are trying to help the client get a fair deal,” Kubes said.”
The problem is that people who know the divorce and they want to do the best for the client have very different interests than people who want to be helpful and give advice.”
For Kube and his clients, the key to success is recognizing how the divorce laws apply to your own family.
Kube advises clients to have a look at their current assets before deciding what type of advice to give them.
If there are any issues that may affect your ability to split up the family’s assets, Kube suggests working with a divorce attorney to discuss it with them.
If you have questions about how to navigate the divorce process, contact the Personal Injury Lawyer Association.