10 Things Divorce Attorneys Won’t Say: “You May Not Even Need Me”

By Attorney Gregg Herman
July 2, 2012

Smart Money magazine recently ran an article entitled “10 Things Divorce Attorneys Won’t Say.”  So far, I’ve covered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 in previous posts. Here’s #8:

“You may not even need me.” 

Wrong.  We do say this to clients on occasion.  The occasions are cases where there is more debts than assets – which, unfortunately, is all too common today.

The article again seems to believe that divorce lawyers are money seeking buzzards.  On the contrary, the vast majority are highly professional.  Professionals do what they believe to be in the best interests of their clients.  Are there surgeons who perform unnecessary surgery to make an extra buck?  Certainly, but they are not the norm.  Similarly, the norm is that divorce lawyers who see a case where the parties don’t need lawyers will let the potential client know about pro se forms and services.

However, the typical problem we see is the opposite:  People who do need lawyers, but want to proceed pro se.  This makes as much sense as the potential surgical patient wanting to operate on himself.  Then, we get call the call later to correct the problem – when it’s usually too late.

This article, no doubt reflects popular belief, that lawyers are not professionals.  The results are certain couples entering into divorce proceedings and agreements which creates problems down the line which lawyers could have helped them avoid.  The phrase which comes to mind is “penny wise and pound foolish.”

Clients should be careful on their choice of lawyers.  But, they should not let the common myths prevent them from getting professional help when they need it.

Attorney Gregg Herman is a founding partner of Loeb & Herman S.C. in Milwaukee, WI. He practices family law exclusively, and can be reached via e-mail or by calling (414) 272-5632.