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Tag: research

How much should you trust your lawyer? Part 2

This blog is in response to a comment made to a  video entitled How much should you trust your lawyer?

“The biggest problem I’ve encountered with attorneys isn’t legal competence but the “to a hammer, everything looks like a nail” problem. Emotions not motions is often the answer.”

I hear that frequently. And it is a good point, but 1) it means different things to different people and 2) it’s not as good a point an many people (particularly clients of lawyers) think.  

Yes, there are attorneys who stir up trouble and litigate either because they know no other way or because it’s lucrative for them. But there are also attorneys who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and do the necessary and difficult work of making the sausage once a dispute is submitted to the court’s for resolution. Many clients find they don’t have the stomach for seeing how the sausage is made. They come to realize they didn’t understand just how difficult, time-consuming, and costly litigation is. Rather than admit that they made a mistake, they will often claim that the lawyers and the legal system are the problem.* 

Many clients want to believe that “if we’d just talk it out, the opposing side and I could work it out.” This is true in some, but not all, cases. If “we can work it out between us ourselves, without involving attorneys and the courts” were true, most people who hire lawyers wouldn’t hire lawyers because they would have no reason and no need to hire lawyers.  

The fact is that many people can’t or won’t resolve their differences voluntarily between them. They take positions that they feel are irreconcilable, and when that happens, one or both of them resorts to litigation. 

Subsequently, the clients who hire lawyers get frustrated (and many times justifiably so) with how needlessly and/or inexplicably expensive, slow/inefficient, and nerve wracking the legal process is. That’s often when the parties on both sides of the dispute suddenly “see the light” and “wonder why” they are engaged in litigation when all they need to do is speak from the heart.  

Experiencing the miseries of litigation often motivates the parties to believe it’s better for them to settle out of court. Somehow they come to see that a dispute that the parties thought was irreconcilable becomes something they can and should quickly and simply compromise.  

*I personally believe that many court procedures and systems are either outright designed or at least administered in such a way as to make the process miserable, so that the parties will settle their case out of court (thus relieving the burden on the legal system). This is wrong, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.  

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

From: https://www.quora.com/How-much-should-you-trust-your-lawyer/answer/Eric-Johnson-311  

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How can I reveal my soon-to-be ex as having NPD in our custody case?

How can I reveal my soon-to-be ex as having NPD in our child custody case?

You’re asking the wrong question. You shouldn’t be asking how you can prove your spouse has NPD (or some other mental or emotional disorder), but whether your spouse in some way unfit—due to mental illness or emotional disorder—to exercise custody of or parent-time with the children. 

There are so many people who believe that if he/she can prove that his/her spouse or the other parent merely suffers from a mental illness or emotional disorder he/she will somehow win the custody battle. 

It seems as though people believe that mental illness or emotional disorders automatically disqualify one from exercising custody or parent time (visitation) with one’s children. It’s not true. I don’t know where this misconception came from. 

First, merely having a mental or emotional disorder does not make one an unfit parent. Merely having a certain mental or emotional disorder or disorders does not automatically make one a danger to himself or to others. 

Second, even having a mental illness or emotional disorder that could render one a danger to himself or others does not mean that one cannot function as a fit parent. Many parents with serious mental and emotional disorders take medication to treat and manage those disorders successfully. Merely having a mental or emotional disorder (or other kinds of disabilities) does not automatically disqualify a parent as fit to exercise child custody and parent-time. 

Third, proving that one has a serious and disqualifying mental or emotional disorder or disorders is extraordinarily difficult. Diagnosis of many mental and emotional disorders is highly subjective. And if there isn’t associated seriously bad behavior to provide tangible, verifiable proof of actual serious harm resulting from suffering from mental illness or emotional disorders, then accusing a spouse or other parent of suffering from mental illness or emotional disorders essentially comes down to a matter of “your word against mine.” 

Fourth, even if a parent is self-absorbed, hot-tempered, hypocritical, etc., that doesn’t make the parent inherently unfit to exercise custody or parent-time. There are innumerable people suffering from some form of mental illness or personality disorder who still manage to function adequately in society. We may not know exactly why they’re so difficult to deal with, why they’re such jerks, why they won’t change, but they still meet minimum standards of behavior for normal society. 

Finally, accusing the other spouse or parent of suffering from mental illness or emotional disorders as a means of poisoning the opinion of the court against your spouse or other parent (and thereby obtain an advantage) can backfire. Making unsupported allegations comes across to courts as cheap shots (which they are). Unsupported allegations damage your credibility. It can make you look like the crazy and unstable one. It’s trendy to throw around these terms and accuse your spouse of suffering from NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) or BPD (borderline personality disorder), or other defects and disabilities. Mere allegations are a dime a dozen. Mere allegations and uncorroborated stories of mental illness or ability disorders don’t usually get a court’s attention (false claims of child abuse and domestic violence, however, are a different story altogether). 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-reveal-my-soon-to-be-ex-as-having-NPD-in-our-child-custody-case/answer/Eric-Johnson-311  

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If your parents are divorced, what are the chances you will be?

Much, much higher than if your parents had not divorced.

See Psychology Today February 5, 2019:

“Research shows that children of divorce are more likely to experience a divorce themselves. The statistics vary, but one study by researchers Paul Amato and Danelle Deboer indicated that if a woman’s parents divorced, her odds of divorce increased 69 percent, while if both a husband and wife’s parents divorced, the risk of divorce increased by 189 percent.”

See Psychology Today August 2, 2014:

“[N]umerous empirical studies have found that those who experience a parental divorce are significantly more likely to divorce themselves. In fact, there is a substantial body of research on this phenomenon, sometimes referred to as the “intergenerational transmission of divorce.”

See The Atlantic May 30, 2019:

“Researchers have been aware of the connection between a parent’s divorce and a child’s divorce for nearly a century, says Nicholas Wolfinger, a sociologist at the University of Utah. Further, as Wolfinger found after he started studying the subject in the 1990s, people with divorced parents are disproportionately likely to marry other people with divorced parents—and couples in which both partners are children of divorce are more likely to get divorced than couples in which just one person is.”

See Marripedia.org at “Effects of Divorce Children’s Future Relationships

See “Effects of parental divorce on marital commitment and confidence.” in the Journal of Family Psychology, 22(5), 789–793. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012800

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/If-your-parents-are-divorced-what-are-the-chances-you-will-be/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

 

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Should I research an attorney before hiring, even if a family member recommends him?

Is it prudent to research an attorney before hiring him or her even when a family member recommends them?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Yes!

While it is certainly comforting to know that you have friends or family members who may know and trust someone who may be in a position to help you, such as a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant or mechanic, etc., don’t let your friend or family members recommendation substitute for your own due diligence and judgment and comfort level. Only a fool would hire a lawyer without conducting his/her own duly diligent research and determining that a particular lawyer is the right fit.

Even though a friend or family member had a great experience with his/her attorney in his/her divorce of family law case:

  • your friend or family member’s attorney may have expertise in the area that benefited your friend or family member, but may have no idea how to help you in your particular case, even if the attorney is “willing to try”;
  • a lot can change between when your friend or family members case was disposed of and what’s happening today;
      • Laws change. Changes in society and the culture may have an impact on the legal landscape, and your friend or family member’s attorney may have fallen behind on new developments in the law;
      • your friend or family member’s attorney may have been in his or her prime back when he or she help your friend or family member, but may be old and tired by now and not much use to you for your particular case;
  • your friend or family member’s attorney may have really enjoyed working with your friend or family member, but may not feel the same way toward you (which may or may not be due to any flaw in your personality or character—sometimes to good people just don’t click);
  • the attorney that your friend or family member hired and loved may have been an attorney that your friend or family member could easily afford or felt was a great value when you may not be able to afford the same level of service or may not benefit from that particular lawyer’s approach to your case.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Is-it-prudent-to-research-an-attorney-before-hiring-him-or-her-even-when-a-family-member-recommends-them/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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