For many individuals going through the divorce process in Georgia, this is often the first experience they have had with the legal process, and may be the first experience they have had with attorneys. With this being said, choosing the right divorce attorney may prove to be a daunting and confusing task. Many individuals searching for an attorney may ask themselves: “Should I choose the least expensive attorney, the attorney who has been practicing the longest, or the attorney who seems the most aggressive?” Although it may be tempting for those going through the tumultuous process of divorce to choose the most aggressive attorney available in the hopes that this attorney will successfully “fight” on their behalf, below are just a few reasons why choosing the most “aggressive” divorce attorney may end up causing more harm than good.
1. Aggressive does not necessarily mean effective – Although the law may be adversarial at times, attorneys often have collegial relationships with each other, just like other professionals in other industries. With that being said, overly aggressive attorney often have very few friends at the courthouse. Other attorneys may dread working with that attorney and judges often have little patience for overly aggressive attorneys. Working with a reasonable and level headed attorney who has garnered the respect of other local attorneys and judges will make it easier for your case to flow smoothly through the legal system.
2. In may be harder for aggressive attorneys to reach a settlement – Many attorneys will agree that if it is at all possible for the two spouses involved to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement, they should settle. This is so, because settling a case is far cheaper than going to trial and crafting a settlement takes away the uncertainty that often comes with taking a mater to trial. However, with an overly aggressive attorney who may be less likely to compromise, it may be harder to settle your case. Additionally, overly aggressive attorneys may not provide their clients with a reasonable and realistic assessment of their divorce matter. Generally, on average, one party will not walk away with all of the property, lifetime alimony, and full custody of the children. However, an aggressive attorney may inflate their client’s expectations by promising results that are hard if not impossible to deliver, thus making it even more difficult for the case to settle on reasonable terms.
4. An aggressive attorney may make it more difficult to work with your former spouse post-divorce – Unlike most other types of cases where the parties will likely never have to work with each other again, after a divorce it is not uncommon for ex-spouses to have to work with each other to manage and resolve issues concerning child custody, visitation, and the division of assets and debts. Frequently, overly aggressive attorneys add to the already existing contention between the divorcing parties which may make it difficult if not impossible for the former spouses to communicate and cooperate in a healthy and effective manner post-divorce. This in turn often leads to additional and costly post-divorce litigation that may have otherwise been avoided.