Showing posts from November, 2016

Make sure your custody or divorce judgment is clearly-written by the attorneys

In Cook County, Illinois (the Chicago area) the attorneys write almost all of the court orders, and the judges sign or 'enter' them. Many times, an opposing attorney will present me with a proposed 'judgment' or 'order' that contains what attorneys call 'boilerplate.'  Boilerplate is paragraph upon paragraph of language that another attorney has on his or her computer, and that will often be called 'standard' language. Despite what you might hear, there is actually very little  standard language in divorce or custody orders.  Other times, I'll be presented with paragraphs that sound OK, but that are almost sure to lead to expensive litigation at some time in the future. I divide possible order and judgment paragraphs into those that are 'aspirational' and those that are 'enforceable,' and try to eliminate all aspirational language during negotiations.  What I mean by aspirational are those paragraphs and sentences that

Tell the Unvarnished Truth to Your Attorney

When you hire an attorney to represent you, it's important to give him or her the facts they'll need to represent you.  The unvarnished, no-spin facts.  I can usually sniff out the difference, and if I can't immediately, it isn't long before the real story comes out.  Sometimes, it's difficult for a client to let down the walls and tell the attorney both the good and the bad about the current situation. In a family-law case, facts are very  important -- sometimes more important that using correct law.  The facts can impact the judge's perception of which parent should have possession of a child, who should pay money to who, and how the case should be resolved. The facts -- especially dates, times and places -- can also affect what laws are likely to apply to a particular situation.  Everything you tell your attorney in private is absolutely privileged and confidential -- unless you disclose that you are planning to commit violence or cause physical harm to a