As I've shifted my divorce skills from the courtroom to teaching people about their divorce proceedings at a conference room table I've received this initial question fairly frequently.
"If I can't afford to hire a divorce lawyer to be in court with me, what can you really do as my "Divorce Coach" to help me?"
That's a fairly loaded question because I know that people who come to me are looking for assurances and sometimes even guarantees about what I do for them to make the family court's outcome better for them.
Let me tell you that it doesn't matter if I represent you in court or if I coach you so that you can represent yourself, I can't make you any guarantees about the outcome of your family law matter. In fact, you should know that NO lawyer can make you any guarantee about their affect on a Rhode Island Divorce and family law matter. If on the off chance you are thinking to yourself
"Bullshit Chris! My attorney guaranteed me that I would get placement of the children, or that you would get more than 50% of the assets, or that you will get the marital home . . ."
Then here is what I suggest you do RIGHT NOT . . . Get it in writing signed by the attorney!!!
Why do I say this? Because I know you'll never get it in writing. And, if by some strange miracle you should get it in writing and it is signed by the attorney, then I suggest you guard it like gold until the end of your divorce proceeding so that you can sue the attorney for malpractice if things don't happen to go exactly as your attorney promised.
Read these words very carefully.
"No Attorney can guarantee any result in a family law matter." In my opinion, this is not only foolhardy but it is unethical to do.... PERIOD! It's very simple to understand this. Your lawyer is your advocate. As your advocate, your lawyer will make and argue a position for you to the court and against your spouse or the spouse of your children. However, your lawyer is NOT the decision maker in any family law proceeding. A lawyer cannot be both an advocate and the decision maker for anyone in the same controversy. If that happens, the Professional Conduct Committee should receive an immediate complaint from the opposing party.
Your divorce or family law lawyer is not and should not be in any position to make you any guarantee(s) about the outcome of your family law issues because he or she is not the ultimate decision maker for your case. It's that simple.
So what can I do for you as a Rhode Island Divorce Coach?
It is perhaps best to think of what role a coach plays when it comes to a sporting event. A coach teaches you about the game you are involved in, how to play it, what approach to take if you are presented with certain circumstances. A coach also teaches you important fundamentals that are designed to keep you in the game so you have a chance to score a goal, a run, a touchdown, etc....
A coach teaches from his or her experience so that you address the challenges that you may be confronted with regarding the subject you are dealing with. However, just like a coach in a sporting event there are a few things that a coach does not and cannot do for you. First, a coach can't tell you what the outcome will be or guarantee how your challenge will end. Second, a coach doesn't take on the challenge for you. You enter the challenge just like a football player runs onto the field and then you put into practice what the coach taught you.
Now that you've been reminded what a coach does, let's address what you can actually do for yourself by coming to me for some coaching in your Rhode Island Divorce.
When you approach me to coach you it is for one of two reasons, either
1) You don't have enough money to afford to engage an attorney to represent you in court, or
2) You don't want to pay the money necessary to engage an attorney to represent you in court.
This tells me that you have come to terms with the idea that you are going to face the challenge of navigating your own divorce proceeding on your own. This also tells me that you want to make sure you know enough to reach the end of the proceeding or that you are willing to learn enough to give you a reasonable chance at prevailing on one or more aspects of your divorce proceeding.
Return soon to learn about the significant benefits you receive as a Rhode Island Divorce Coaching Client!
A New Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer for a New Millenium!
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