A Team Approach to Divorce
Most potential clients thinking about a divorce intuitively understand the need to hire a divorce attorney who will handle their divorce in the most advantageous way possible. This includes incorporating both your values and wishes in developing the strategy for your case and obtaining a good outcome for you and your children.
But in complex cases, the best family law attorneys utilize a “team approach” when developing and implementing a case strategy. For example, as to the financial issues, a client’s representation may benefit from the additional expertise of a tax attorney, a Certified Public Accountant, a valuation expert, or a Trust and Estates attorney. When it comes to handling the parenting issues, a case may call for the expertise of a mental health professional or social worker, a substance abuse evaluator, or an educational consultant.
The client may ask: “I’ve hired a highly-regarded and experienced attorney. Why do I need to incur the cost of retaining additional professionals to handle my divorce case?” The answer lies in understanding that although your divorce attorney will have overall responsibility for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy for your case and will always be focused on the legal aspects, there may be complex questions or issues that require the specialized knowledge of other professionals. Such professionals can ensure that all of the relevant information is gathered and analyzed and that the best options or solutions are generated and considered so that the client is in a position to make good decisions.
For example, one divorcing client was shocked to learn that for several years, his wife had failed to make the required unemployment insurance and FICA payments for the employees of her business. As a result, the IRS put tax liens on all of the jointly-titled assets. Although the husband had no culpability, his financial interests were now encumbered. His divorce attorney brought a tax attorney into the consultations with the client, and several options were explained and explored. Although selecting from among the different possible choices was complicated, the husband obtained the relevant information to enable him to improve his financial situation.
Keep in mind that adding other professionals to the divorcing client’s legal team can still be cost effective. Although coordination and consultation between the members of the team is essential, in general, the additional professionals brought in by the attorney will work independently on their assigned aspect of the case.
If there is a high level of complexity in the issues of your divorce, consult with your attorney about bringing in additional professionals whose expertise can contribute to a good outcome in your case.