family lawyers

“Personal growth,” “well-being”, “self-discovery” none of these are words you would associate with any legal process, let alone divorce, but it can be with a slight perspective shift. 

A relative newcomer to divorce law, I am increasingly frustrated with the encounters I have had and the way the legal professionals are not being accountable to the role they play in the divorce process. When a client is going through a divorce, they are typically frazzled, stressed and unhappy. In such a vulnerable state and time of need they are looking to the legal profession to guide them and give them advice.

Clients are often coming to me not out of contempt for their spouse, this is someone they once shared a lot of love with, and hoped to build a future with, there are often children involved.  They may be angry, have feelings of guilt, or just feel defeated but typically they don’t really desire to leave their spouse desolate.  They want out of the marriage, and they want to protect their assets and secure their future.  In other words, they aren’t coming in to my office with the hopes of engaging in more fighting and “taking their spouse to the cleaner:,  but too often, I am witnessing attorney’s fan the flames of those fires, rather than to be the one to effectively communicate their client’s reasonable positions. I can spot those attorney’s from a mile away, and I know I’m about to get an email that says, “Please see the attached correspondence sent by attorney so-and-so’ and I know I will have to work extra hard to restrain myself from a quick retort back, which ultimately does nothing for the client or the client’s position. I am often left scratching my head and wondering, why does this attorney seem so personally and emotionally involved in this process, which I think clouds good judgment, and is often why a client hires an attorney in the first place, knowing they are too emotionally involved to make sound decisions.. Not promoting that that the divorce process is pleasurable but it doesn’t have to be as ugly as the reputation is has.  It is about how the process of negotiation is managed through the litigation process.  

Perhaps untraditional, but divorce is more than just about the law.  I see our position as giving clients the opportunity to achieve their best outcome. What are the client’s goals and needs, and what does the client want their future to look like?  The law is an important part of that, but it also makes room for a  more holistic approach. In fact, I can think of very few areas of practice outside of divorce that lends itself to such a holistic approach.  Divorce is by its very nature leaving the past behind and about making plans for future.  The court’s can’t give the client the emotional outcome and closure they desire, and that is why we see litigation as a tool for successful negotiation, but that a trial should be used after all other options have been exhausted. The legal process and why divorce feels so crippling, is being exacerbated by lawyers and we must recognize that and work to combat it as a professionally community.

I realize that most attorneys may be concerned that that philosophy will effect their bottom-line and I’ve been told by seasoned attorneys that the money is in litigation, but I whole-heartedly reject that. That is too-narrow  of a view of the client.  Families are changing. The client is changing.  Families are forging new ways and paths, and Firms that don’t keep up and adapt their practice will be left in the dust. I am certainly not naive enough to think that the divorce process will be a happy time for a client, no matter how understanding an attorney is,  but a client who can see that the Firm they have hired is truly client-centered will have fond feelings toward their lawyer and the overall process, and will be the best source of referrals.  It is with that philosophy that our Firm practices.  

This process is bigger than the legal issues of who gets what in the separation process.  We aim to emphasis the goal of the client, their objectives, and needs and helping to create that plan with the client.  Our Firm has cultivated a team of professionals who assist us to that goal. :Counselors, social workers, Accountants and financial planners.

I encourage other attorneys to cultivate those resources, and when looking for an attorney find out what relationships they have with other experts. And not just a simple referral but a developed relationship where they are actually working alongside in securing the outcome you desire.  You should expect more from your divorce lawyer, after all you are placing a lot of trust in someone to guide you through what is going to be one of the most trying times of your life.  Building those relationships into our fees and then accessing those relationships throughout your case and working alongside those professionals assists in delivering a full product to the client and looks at the client outside of just the legal vacuum.

We focus on what you want the future to look like, helping you to develop that vision and then accessing the support of experts as part of cultivating and carrying out that plan

What family law has been traditionally done is simply just looking in the past, but with a simple outlook shift it can be future-focused.  We, of course, are still here to protect your assets, to fairly divide assets secure quality time with your children and to acknowledge what you contributed to the marriage.  The concepts are not mutually exclusive as they have been treated formerly.  The future can be bright for clients and for the practice of family law with this simple change in perspective.

Our philosophy and way of practice, is about helping people and we keep that the focus of the practice every day.  

Juliana Gaita, P.A. We are your modern family lawyers for your modern family problems.