By Attorney Howard Iken: Alright …. here is my daily rant and rave. There are a lot of misconceptions on who the best divorce attorneys are, and who is a bad attorney. I see a lot of sides to this issue in my role as a divorce attorney
The best divorce attorneys:
- Tells the client the truth and nothing but the truth
- Does not take money for a goal that is impossible to achieve
- Does not go to trial for the majority of the cases
- Settles a high percentage of cases at mediation
- Does not “fan the flames” – helps the client keep a cool head
- Does not take $1,500 retainer on what is obviously a $10,000 case without telling the client how much it will probably end up
- Returns phone calls to the client
Bad divorce attorneys:
- Takes all cases – no matter how unrealistic the client is
- Gives advice based on how much in fees they can earn
- Never settles
- Pushes all cases to go to trial
- Does not give a honest estimate on costs
- Takes a personal position on issues the client should decide
- Burns through the client’s money quickly and then withdraws
- Returns phone calls 3 days later
- Takes an unrealistically low retainer – while knowing the retainer will be exhausted in 3 weeks.
I work on a daily basis as a family law and custody attorney, and I also mediate family law cases as a court-appointed mediator. In those roles I have had the opportunity to see a lot of styles, tactics, and behavior of the best divorce attorneys and the worst. There are certain attorneys that will never settle a case if the client has money. There are some that see past their own pocket and act in the best interest of their client. By now I hope you know which category I prefer to be in. I like earning money – but I like my client’s success even better.
Just my occasional rant.
Howard Iken practices paternity, custody, divorce, and alimony law in Tampa, Florida.