Chadwick M. Layton, Esq.[i]
Harvey Waddell & Layton, P.A.
DO I NEED AN AGGRESSIVE DIVORCE ATTORNEY?
The short answer is, No. A professional and ethical divorce attorney will analyze the specific facts of the marriage and engage in a course of action to resolve the legal matter promptly and properly.
Aggressive attorneys may be prone to initiating or furthering litigation that is unnecessary and costly.
Recently, I have noticed billboards and other advertisements for “aggressive” attorneys. I don’t believe that this description benefits the practice of law or the public perception of attorneys.
Divorce counsel should be experienced in all aspects of marital law in Florida. Further, they should have strong communication skills and persuasive writing skills to advocate for the client both in settlement negotiations and in the courtroom.
The years of education and experience in divorce law that are required to become a respected professional are not best described as “aggressive”. Divorce counsel, nor the client, will reap a benefit from a loud or overbearing demeanor. The ultimate goal in a divorce action is to guide the client to a final resolution to the divorce action while protecting their assets and securing them financially. If minor children are involved, additional legal issues will be addressed.
The final resolution in my practice is through a marital settlement agreement over 90% of the time that has been properly negotiated. Thereafter, this agreement is presented to the judge for final approval and ratification.
It is my experience that attorneys whom describe themselves as sharks or aggressive can cause the divorce matter to become more contested than necessary. This does not result in the otherside wilting to pressure or becoming overwhelmed. It simply causes the other side to respond in kind and fight through the courts. No one wins except the lawyers.
The experienced divorce attorney should use all available tools to resolve the matter without posturing and unnecessary fights. In some cases, legal counsel will need to affirmatively advocate for the client regarding contested issues such as alimony, distribution of assets or time-sharing.
However, a professional demeanor, preparation and courtroom experience are what carry the day.
The law firm you choose in divorce should match your goals for divorce.
[i] Chadwick M. Layton is a partner and shareholder at Harvey Waddell & Layton, P.A., located in downtown Lake Worth.
Mr. Layton is also a member of the Florida Bar Family Law Section and the Susan Greenberg Family Law American Inn of Court of the Palm Beaches,
101 North J Street, Lake Worth
Phone (561) 585-4631