Characteristics of an Ideal Divorce Attorney

By Karen McMahon

Creating a Win-Win for you and your clients!

Divorce attorneys get a bad rap, have an incredibly challenging job and often go unacknowledged for their heartfelt desire to help their clients and for putting forward their best efforts.  Serving a clientele that is angry, bitter, fearful and untrusting is no easy task and takes a special person!

As a divorce coach and trusted guide to hundreds of divorcing men and women, I have the unique opportunity to support my clients in experiencing a win-win relationship with their matrimonial attorney.  I would like to share with you…the matrimonial attorneys of the world…your clients’ fear based and sometimes distorted perspectives; their basic (and too often unmet) needs; and the 3 Keys to helping your clients emerge from the legal process of divorce satisfied, appreciative and truly desiring to refer other’s to you. Communication. Communication. Communication.  Take a look…


#1 Key:  Proactive, Responsive Communication

  • Complaint:  I don’t feel important
  • Solution:
    • Responding quickly, even if to say you are not available until later
    • Answering questions without judgment or frustration
    • Having clients mirror back what you have said so that YOU know they understand
    • Realizing that what they understood yesterday, may have been lost in the chaos of their lives

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#2 Key:  Clear Consistent Communication

  • Complaint:  I don’t understand!!
    • My attorney doesn’t answer my questions /
    • I cannot comprehend much of what he/she tells me
    • I wasn’t told… (you may have and they could not absorb it)
  • Solution:
    • Tell them.  Have them repeat it back.  Next time you talk, check in to see if what you had covered needs to be discussed again.
    • What is clear or obvious to you, is foreign and frightening to them.
    • Many divorcing clients can only absorb information in small bits.  You may have told them and they heard you, smiled and nodded but did not absorb it.

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#3 Key:  Communicate Acknowledgement and Validation

  • Complaint: I’m upset with my attorney
  • Solution:
    • Don’t take your client’s fears and interpretations personally
    • Inquire with curiosity rather than judgment
    • Inform rather than defend

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