Harmony in chaos
The lawyer practicing in family law evolves in chaos. First, that of a stormy and painful rupture between two human beings, which has been repeatedly compared to the worst grief to be borne after the loss of a loved one. Also in the chaos that follows the bursting of the couple’s personal finances: a large majority of couples living together live on the edge of what their financial capabilities allow them. Now, it must be remembered, a separation enriches no one, on the contrary! Finally, and above all, the lawyer evolves on the edge of a chaos still much more powerful and insecure: the one in which the child of the couple is propelled, despite himself.
Children, betrayal, insecurity, money, the savings of a life that melts, retirement plans that fade, in short, this is an immense emotional burden. Add to that a judicial system where the search for truth takes the form of a trial in which conflicting versions clash. If it takes more snarling lawyers and a acrimonious debate, where accusations fuse and wounds worsen, then the chaos is at its height.
The lawyer practicing in family law is invited in this chaos by his client and often he is perceived by the latter as a true savior. Expectations can be very high, even unrealistic. Knowing how to manage them is an art that comes at once from experience, knowledge and honesty.
Easy for the lawyer to sink and, willingly or not, to take up the cause for his client. These lawyers harm the record. They hurt their client, they harm the courts, they hurt the profession. They sacrifice the indispensable objectivity they have at the price of a boundless adulation on the part of their client, who suddenly thinks he has found “the lawyer who believes in his cause”. And yet! The challenge for the lawyer is to try to put some order into this chaos, even though the parties – during their life together – may not have even reached it themselves.
The best lawyers in family law know how to collaborate with each other and remain in their actions, their words and their writings. They do not seek the murderous phrase, but the infallible proposition. They do not add the emotional burden of the parties, but they know how to recognize the right moment to convene a meeting at four, a mediation session or an amicable settlement conference. The lawyers who have the real intention of helping their client have the wisdom to sometimes take a day off before answering this arrogant, condescending or needlessly accusing email. They know that the legal solution has its limits and that it is the last solution, when everything has failed. Collaboration, transparency, alternative methods of dispute resolution have become duties imposed by the Code of Civil Procedure, both for lawyers and for the parties, and no longer mere recommendations. Collaboration among lawyers is the key to successful conflict resolution in a fair, honest and win-win way.
In this context, customers have much more to gain by seeking lawyers who will collaborate where they have failed, rather than finding the “pit bull” that will never let go until a decisive victory (which ‘will probably never arrive) and certainly at great expense.
Remember that the courts do not see before them the best samples among couples who separate. On the contrary, they see those who have tried everything, to no avail. Imagine if, in addition, their lawyers have personality conflicts, disrespect each other, take up the cause and lose their objectivity …
The client who is consulting a lawyer for the first time, in the chaos that we know, is looking for a lighthouse.
He seeks a lawyer who will give him the right time and who will admit its own limits and those of the judicial system. Perhaps the most reassuring assertion that the lawyer can make to his client is probably to underline the reasonableness and co-operation of his counterpart, and that in such circumstances, an amicable settlement is highly possible. . In this situation, the lawyer not only helped to reassure his client, but he also found the best way to facilitate access to justice and reduce costs.
This esteem between colleagues is worth the experience, of course, but also by the decisions we make daily in our files and by the positions that we make against our colleagues. She deserves just as much attention and listening as we carry to other people.