Definition: a deposition is a legal procedure conducted at the office of the opposing attorney where the client is asked a series of questions, under pains and penalties of perjury, for an indefinite time period; and is attended by the client’s attorney, the client’s spouse, and a court stenographer (who transcribes the entire proceeding).
Definition: a cocktail party is the worst place to seek or receive advice about your divorce.
Information received in an attorney’s office often serves up a sobering, painful reality. Too many times, I’ve given clients my perspective on the outcome of a legal issue and then listened as they recount contradictory advice they received…at a party…or in a bar. Or from friends over a glass or two of wine. In the recounting is often a subtle, sometimes overt, questioning of my professional experience or competence.
Definition: A settlement agreement based on objective financial realities.
For clients in the early stages of a divorce, making sound financial decisions is tough, especially if emotions are high. In the heat of conflict, business decisions can feel cold. But they are essential to building a financially stable future.
What to do with the family home is one of the most challenging business decisions that divorcing couples face. At least one spouse typically feels a deep connection to the home and wants to keep it after the divorce.
That emotional tug often results in poor business decisions. It’s common for the mortgage, utilities, real estate tax, and maintenance costs of the family home to run too steep to be supported on a client’s post-divorce income.
Definition: descriptive words about a spouse used by a client, painting a very unflattering picture of the other, but conveying little useful information.
Clients in divorce cases use a lot of adjectives to describe their spouses. For example:
- “She is a calculating, vicious person.”
- “He is cheaper than dirt.”
- “My ex is paranoid and controlling.”
Adjectives can speak volumes about how a client perceives the other party. But they are actually pretty hollow words. They don’t provide the information needed to advance a client’s cause. Family law professionals need to understand, objectively, the root problems that are to be solved. [Read more…] about David’s Divorce Dictionary: Adjectives
As family law professionals, we work with people during the biggest crises of their lives from within a legal system that, many times, makes bad situations worse. Our goal for clients is to make their bad situation better. This can be accomplished by answering questions thoughtfully, providing information practically, and guiding settlements insightfully. Respect, empathy, and an appropriate dose of humor can aid the cause.
With our goal in mind, let me introduce David’s Divorce Dictionary.