What to expect from your lawyer

A family law firm in South Carolina puts it bluntly:

We do not work on the weekends and do not provide emergency numbers for the weekends. There are times we may look at and answer your email over the weekend, but this is generally the exception and not to be relied upon by you that we are accessible on weekends.
Do not think we are perfect. We make mistakes. We are competent attorneys and paralegals, but we make mistakes. We will correct a mistake if we find it or if you point it out. Please do not yell at us, accuse us of not doing our job, or insult us over a mistake.
[…]
NOTHING HAPPENS QUICKLY — generally, contested cases take several months to move through the court system. A complicated custody or equitable division case can take one, sometimes two, years to complete. The courts are always full and there are several steps that have to be taken before a trial will be set, for instance, mediation, a guardian ad litem investigation, discovery, depositions, pre-trial hearings and motion hearings. It takes a long time to move a contested case through the court system and this will likely be your number one frustration. We will do all we can to move the case forward, but you will still be frustrated with the time it takes to finish a case. Please prepare yourself ahead of time and please do not take this frustration out on us or my staff. We are doing everything we can to move the case along.
[…]
CHILD CUSTODY CASES — You should behave as though a detective and camera crew were following you and recording you and your conversations at all times. Do not do anything that you would not perfectly happy with a Family Court Judge seeing, hearing or finding out about when the Judge is deciding your custody case.

These guys even tell still-married clients not to become romantically involved with anyone else, even if he or she is separated. I wouldn’t go that far, but I would warn clients that a new partner could aggravate an already tense situation – especially if there are children involved. (In my experience, nothing, and I mean nothing, angers a family law client more than finding out a new boyfriend or girlfriend is spending time with the kids.)
Via Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog.

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