Protecting your favorite ally: Top ten things you should never do

This article by Stacy D. Phillips, author and certified family law specialist, gives the top 10 tips to help you navigate through the divorce process.

By Stacy D. Phillips, Author and Certified Family Law Specialist
Updated: September 04, 2014
Alimony/Spousal Support Family Lawyers

In this part two segment of my "Top Ten List" of suggestions on what not to do and what is best to do as you navigate your way through your divorce, I have spelled out my favorite top ten suggestions for keeping your attorney on your side rather than turning him or her against you.

As I mentioned in the first part of this 14-part series, in my book, Divorce: It's All About Control—How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, I tick off a variety of top ten lists similar to how late night talk show host, David Letterman, gives his "reasons" why some things turn out the way they do, or suggestions on how others should handle their newsworthy crises of the day. Though some of my recommendations are made tongue-in-cheek, others are not—they are meant to provide a wake-up call.

In my last entry, I stated that those items on my top ten lists may seem preposterous but they are not. Many of my suggestions stem from my own experiences as a family law attorney.

The following rundown provides pointers on what not to do if you want to keep a good, solid relationship with your attorney.

Naturally, some of these recommendations may seem far-fetched but they are not. They can and have happened.

Do not:

10. Make a pass at him/her.
9. Show up late for meetings and court appearances.
8. Threaten to sue him/her if they botch your case.
7. Tell him/her you think opposing counsel is doing a better job.
6. Put him/her on hold while you take another call.
5. Have your retainer or payment checks bounce.
4. Nitpick his/her bill.
3. Make negative comments about his/her offices (décor, distance, size…)
2. Order him/her around.
1. Lie to him/her


Stacy D. Phillips is a co-founder of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation, which specializes in high-profile family law matters. She is co-chair of the Women's Political Committee and a member of Divorce Magazine's North American Advisory Board. She can be reached at (310) 277-7117. View her firm's Divorce Magazine profile here.

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February 18, 2010
Categories:  Family Lawyers

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