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hiring an effective attorney

The Secret to Hiring an Effective Attorney:  Emotional Intelligence

hiring an effective attorney

 

My parents divorced right after I was born and I was raised by my mother. She was a social worker for the New York State Division for Youth. She worked there for decades and I can remember going into her government office, in Syracuse, New York, and raiding the office’s supply closet. Money was always tight.

Being raised by a single mother was challenging, for sure, but I was very fortunate that my mother was emotionally intelligent. In fact, had I been raised by my father I suspect my life would have been far less purpose-driven and more focused on self-centered endeavors. I am a very lucky man in that respect.

I am now a divorce and family attorney with a family of my own. I speak with people every day about divorce, custody modifications, relocation, decision-making and everything else one would expect of someone managing a large family law firm. I watch competitors everyday market to their “target audience.”

Marketing Based on Fear:

We have a lot of “Men’s Rights Firms” here in our state, and they get many clients calling every day. We have law firms locally that market “aggressive representation” (admittedly I did as well in the beginning) and messaging similar to “We Win Family Law cases.”  Nobody wins these cases. I see no value in advertising expertise or specialty related to the sex of a client. It’s marketing based on fear, and it’s natural for parents to be fearful as they contemplate major life changes.

I disagree with the idea that you need to have any plan in place other than being very deliberate and thoughtful about choosing an attorney.

He cheated on you.

He lied to you.

He isn’t a good dad.

He used marital money to buy his mid-life-crisis answer.

If someone told you, when you are raw and emotional, to get aggressive and hire Lawyer X to fight for you, I suspect you would think that is a good idea. I suspect I would feel the same way. But that is really, really bad advice.

The Secret to Hiring an Effective Attorney:  Emotional Intelligence

Fighting and being aggressive has its place in every family law case, but how you fight and how you are aggressive is the key. Understand that you are extracting yourself from a dysfunctional relationship. There is pain, fear, anger and every other emotion open and available for you to experience.The feeling you do not want is regret with your choice in representation.

I strongly suggest that you seek representation that does not mirror you, your emotions, or your anger…at least at the outset. Do not hire an attorney who gets you motivated to destroy him. If your case warrants a parenting time restriction, or a protection order, a private investigator or a Child and Family Investigator then the right attorney will guide you only after he or she understands your case, your relationship with your husband and children, and your goals.

Choose an emotionally intelligent lawyer. 

What exactly is that?

Emotionally intelligent people are…aware. That’s all. But that’s huge! An emotionally intelligent attorney uses all her tools in her toolbox. She doesn’t react to opposing counsel who thinks being a jerk is in the job description.

An emotionally intelligent attorney uses data, strategy and thought in accordance with a communicated plan of action geared towards a successful outcome. They think about their actions and advice, understanding the raw nature of the situation, and they don’t exploit the client’s fears. Emotionally intelligent attorneys can inspire and protect clients, oftentimes, from themselves.

Think about it. Your husband cheated on you with someone you know. He is clearly a piece of trash and shouldn’t have parenting time because he can’t be trusted. Right? Or, even more cutting, he introduces your children to her as he and your babies “accidentally” run into her while grocery shopping. You want it to stop. You want him to pay dearly. That mindset will have many lawyers licking their chops to follow your strategy and blow it all up…and bill you for it all.

Emotional intelligence is not a weakness. It is the epitome of strength and most lawyers don’t have it. Emotional intelligence is seeing the case from both the 30,000-foot view, anticipating behaviors based on the data, and having the legal and factual knowledge to make strategic decisions that benefit the client in the short term and long term.

Emotional intelligence is not ripping off scathing emails to opposing counsel, at your behest, because you are hurt. Emotional intelligence is using your narcissist husband’s abusive texts to your advantage by waiting until he portrays himself the way he sees himself and opposite to what the facts, collateral witnesses and written or recorded communications conclusively portray him to be.

If your “aggressive lawyer” did what you asked, or on her own, acted, by emailing opposing counsel and threatened your husband you will feel better…and you likely lost the benefit of all the data because you allowed the lawyer to tip off your husband that he has bad facts to overcome.

Emotionally intelligent lawyers see the forest through the trees and effectively save you from your emotions, while at the same time advancing your effectively strategized case towards a successful resolution. Sophisticated, emotionally intelligent representation can be lulling your husband to sleep with false confidence, only to trap him in his lies at mediation or trial.

That is effective, and even aggressive, representation and is done at the highest level by very few attorneys.

There is nothing worse than lining up a narcissist with his own words/actions/behaviors only to see this leverage disappear because a lawyer was lazy, greedy or both.

The post The Secret to Hiring an Effective Attorney:  Emotional Intelligence appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Post-March This Attorney’s Secret to Success? His Background in Theatre

Post-March This Attorney’s Secret to Success? His Background in Theatre

Seattle Divorce Services attorney Nathan Cliber attributes his success as an attorney just as much to his background in theatre as his time in law school.

The post Post-March This Attorney’s Secret to Success? His Background in Theatre appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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mastering relationships

The Secret To Mastering Relationships

mastering relationships

 

Our lives are an ongoing chain of relationships. From our life partners, children, friends, co-workers, companions, neighbors, bosses, and employees.

Some are warm and wonderful while others can cause a constant rub. The key to mastering all our relationships is to see them as a mirror reflection of our issues.

Let’s take a look at some relationship dynamics:

My boss doesn’t appreciate me

My partner doesn’t trust me

My child is disobedient and disrespectful

My co-worker is hurtful, bordering on abusive

My adult son is distant and judgmental

My neighbor is obnoxious and inconsiderate

My colleague is unprofessional and rude

How can any of these be a reflection of me? How can looking at my part in them help to change my relationships?

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” Gandhi

Mastering Relationships

The most powerful thing we can do in each of our relationships is to see our reflection in the problems that arise.  In doing so, we can expose our thoughts, patterns, and tender buttons, those things that we are responsible for.  Instead of focusing on the other person’s shortcomings, we can begin to work on our own.

Here is the logic:

I cannot change another person

Nothing changes until something changes

I choose to be the change I wish to see in the world.

The result: 

Sometimes the relationship will grow stronger and healthier.  Other times it will end, and I will have grown wiser and become more authentic.

The Abusive Partner

A young man was so angry with his abusive spouse.  His focus was entirely on how hurtful and nasty her behavior was (and it was terrible).  Upon looking at his actions, he began to see that he chose to accept her unacceptable behavior and then get mad at her for acting that way. If she truly loved him, she should change!

He seemed to have no power to make that happen.  He began to slowly set healthier boundaries and overcome his fears of what might happen if he took care of himself.  He could walk away, leave the situation, and choose not to accept such behavior.

She may or may not decide to change, but his experience transformed as he was able to remove himself from the abuse.  Knowing whether the relationship lasted or not, he had found his way to a healthier way of being. He noticed he had similar patterns at work as well. His new perspective and consequent behavior had a significantly positive effect on him and all his relationships.

The Disrespectful Adult Son

Raised by a somewhat controlling mother who often judged everyone’s strengths and weaknesses, Julie never saw herself as being judgmental. Upon struggling with her relationship with her adult son, who was distant and disrespectful, she tried to figure out how to change him.

Once she realized that the bond was weakened by her choice to focus only on those traits she disliked in Robert; she was able to see the role her judgment played in their struggles. Instead of strengthening the relationship by acknowledging Robert’s strengths, her perspective of him pushed him away.

She could not be the supportive parent she wanted to be until she let go of her judgment (forgave him for his shortcomings), providing a stronger foundation for him to trust her and for their relationship to grow.

Where are you struggling in your relationships? 

How can you see that person as a reflection, revealing an attitude, perspective or behavior in you that would benefit from your love and attention? Our reality is limited by the way we choose to perceive our world.  Often by changing our perception, we can change our reality.

Is someone pushing your buttons? 

If so, consider that you are being given a gift.  They are putting a spotlight on your tender underbelly…that which upsets you.  It may be touching on abuse, insecurity, unforgiveness, judgment or fear.

Whatever it is, the gift is for you to see your reflection, the part of you that would benefit from refinement.  Then put your attention there rather than on them.  The benefits you experience will be dramatic.

By keeping the focus on yourself, the relationships you choose to sustain and grow will fulfill both you and them.  The ones you let go of will make way for new healthier relationships.  Those (family) that you cannot completely let go of will give you an opportunity to set healthy boundaries that serve your needs and desires.

How we do something is how we do everything.

How you choose to be in your relationships will determine if they fill your life with vitality and love or stress and upset.  What choices are you making?

The post The Secret To Mastering Relationships appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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