Some people regard the divorce court as a performance stage. They want a lawyer who appears to be a tiger in the courtroom as well as on paper. This usually translates to someone who behaves in a loud, pushy, and obnoxious manner. When their lawyer gets in a good dig at their philandering husband or their wantonly promiscuous wife, they experience a sense of inner peace that may be akin to Nirvana. They will play this hit song in their heads for the rest of their lives.
Sadly, the same techniques that work in a parliamentary debate – insult, humor, snide asides, gratuitous flippancy, slashing exaggerations – tend to fall flat in a courtroom, even if they may shake up or embarrass the other party to your divorce.
Most judges do not want to sit through a recital of your spouse’s bedroom, kitchen or grill inadequacies. And going for the low blow risks a low blow back. Instead of winning your point, you end up with an adversary who is more fiercely determined than ever not to give an inch.
The court has no power to provide catharsis to make up for all the ills you endured in a 20-year marriage to a person who turned out to be a cad. For emotional relief, try meditation, therapy, or binge-watching soap operas on Netflix.
While the law has some basis in common sense, the complexities of the legal format mean that each and every move must be carefully weighed from the outset of a divorce action.
Unfortunately, being a courtroom attorney sometimes requires fancy footwork and tactical retreats. After a judge makes a decision, your lawyer may have to adjust your agreed-upon strategy on the fly. A good lawyer will prepare the client for an adverse decision that requires a viable Plan B.
When your lawyer is confronted by clear and convincing evidence that is harmful to your case, she can attempt to put the best possible face on it, but she cannot lie for you or throw out unsupported counter-allegations. Calling your spouse or your spouse’s attorney every name in the book is also not a very effective diversionary strategy.
A lawyer who is willing to risk contempt of court, sanctions, or disbarment proceedings in order to give her client a quick adrenaline boost is not someone to whom you should trust your life or your case.
When shopping for a divorce lawyer, most experts agree that you should steer clear of showboaters or those who promise the moon. A persuasive, likeable, confident, experienced attorney who will be direct and upfront with you about the strengths and weaknesses of your case is your best chance for a fair and palatable settlement.
Carmina Hirsch has successfully shepherded hundreds of clients to successful divorce agreements, while maintaining the respect and friendship of judges, court personnel, and her professional colleagues. Hirsch Legal LLC operates a client focused practice in the New Haven region and upper Fairfield County (Danbury, Monroe, Bridgeport, Trumbull, Milford). If you are pursuing or defending a divorce action in Connecticut, we hope you will consult with us at our office in Shelton or virtually via Zoom.