Deciding if You Need an “Aggressive” RI Divorce Attorney
When divorce proceedings aren’t going well, many Rhode Islanders seek the counsel of an attorney who isn’t afraid to take risks or will push back against their soon-to-be ex-spouse’s pressure tactics.
However, while an attorney might fight aggressively for your rights in court, this strategy can also jeopardize the chances of reaching a favorable settlement when misused.
When Aggression Is a Benefit
- When a lawyer is determined, persistent, and relentless when pursuing the client’s best interests
- When a lawyer explains all the details of the divorce proceedings, goes over all options with the client, and manages the client’s expectations about a settlement or need to go to court
- When there are substantial assets, and/or the divorce includes complex property division
- When infidelity or domestic violence is alleged
Ideally, your divorce attorney will work hard to secure a favorable settlement. However, aggression is only beneficial when it is not blind. While many divorcing clients view proceedings as a way to reap revenge against an unfaithful, drug-addicted, or irresponsible spouse, pushing back against reasonable offers may alienate the court and work to your spouse’s benefit.
When Aggression Is a Disadvantage
An effectively aggressive divorce attorney will advocate for your best interests in a manner that is likely to secure the best possible outcome. However, an aggressive attorney may hurt you and your divorce case by:
1. Charging Higher Legal Fees
Sometimes, aggressive lawyers end up costing their clients more money when they utilize aggressive tactics. If the lawyer fights over every angle and every aspect of the divorce, it may cost you because they are charging by the hour. A diplomatic lawyer would direct the client not to argue over every detail.
2. Creating More Contested Issues
In contested divorce cases, clients often pay more when legal counsel is aggressive and ill-mannered because the attorney may create problems that lead to more contested issues. Some lawyers may take advantage of their client’s angry emotional state to keep emotions high and cost the client more money.
3. Leading the Case to Litigation
Instead of working out the details of the divorce in mediation or with a settlement, some lawyers will push the proceedings to go to court. Additionally, an aggressive lawyer may act in an unreasonable manner in front of the judge, and this can sometimes lead to sanctions due to unnecessary motions.
4. Intimidating Your Spouse
Some divorce attorneys will happily indulge their client’s demands to intimidate their ex. However, intimidation tactics rarely bring about favorable settlements. Often, harassing a former spouse with paperwork and mandatory court appearances will reduce their willingness to negotiate. In a worst-case scenario, the spouse may respond in kind, forcing you to spend more of your money defending against frivolous challenges.
5. Misusing Your Money
An aggressive divorce attorney who encourages you to intimidate your spouse may simply want you to sink as much money into your case as you are willing to spend. You should always be skeptical of lawyers who recommend spending unnecessary amounts of money for uncertain outcomes.
Find the Right Level of Aggression
Before committing to a divorce lawyer, you should always schedule a consultation to determine whether they are willing to be aggressive when it counts, or if their only aim is aggressively wasting your hard-earned money.
Do You Need to Speak to a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney?
If you are considering a divorce, you need to speak with an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help divorce clients in Providence, Warwick, and all areas of Rhode Island.