Filing for a divorce is undoubtedly one of the hardest decisions a person will have to make. Once an individual commits to this course of action, there are numerous critical decisions yet to be made. In this regard, the next most important step is choosing an attorney who you trust enough to place significant aspects of your life in his/her hands. Once this is accomplished, you should be able to rest assured that all your issues will be addressed competently, and to your reasonable satisfaction. But………………..despite these tough and arduous decisions, your role in the divorce action has just begun, and is not a cameo or supporting role. Your attorney is the director and your are the star of the show. One cannot succeed without the other.
As the curtain rises on your matrimonial action, your conduct and credibility will be center stage. Furthermore, like the star or lead role in any other drama, you will have numerous responsibilities, and the success or failure of said drama will, in part, be dependent on your performance of those responsibilities, as well as your clear and consistent communication with your director (aka your attorney). If your case is contested, and a judge has been assigned, you and your attorney will be subject to certain deadlines set by the Court in connection with responsibilities, including but not limited to: the completion and submission of financial documents, responses to motions or other requests for relief and the scheduling of depositions. While these deadlines may at times be extended for various reasons, inevitably there are consequences for missed deadlines or what may appear to be frivolous and obstructionist conduct. Your director will need your commitment concentration and assistance in order to make these deadlines.
The emotional and other hardships associated with a contested divorce action are undeniable, and people deal with the stress of it in different ways. Similarly, the manner in which one deals with this stress can affect the ultimate outcome of the action. In this regard, it is critical that you remain aware of the significant nature of your role, and remain present and accessible to your attorney at all times. If the star of a drama goes rogue or becomes absent, the production ceases and valuable time and money is often lost. In addition to providing legal counsel in connection with the specific factual circumstances of your action, your attorney will offer other valuable direction regarding the importance of what, when and how to communicate during your action; how you should present yourself physically and otherwise; and the significant import of flexibility, reasonableness and endurance.
While likening your involvement in a matrimonial action to a starring role in an dramatic production may appear to be overly simplistic, there are striking similarities that cannot be ignored. Some may even find the analogy conducive to providing an opportunity for greater objectivity, and a welcome respite from the emotional rigors of the litigation. The critical acclaim earned in your divorce will only be realized by the work you put into it. While your divorce action is not a solo performance, its success ultimately depends on its leading star…you.