Last-Minute Calls in Divorce and Family Law Cases
I get lots of calls from potential divorce and family law clients who have, for one reason or another, waited until the last minute to hire a lawyer. By last minute I mean they have waited until a week or two (or less) before an important trial or hearing before calling on me.
I’m not talking about situations where there is an emergency case filed (like emergency child custody or a request for a domestic violence protective order); here I am talking about situations that have been developing for months and the potential client calls just before something big is going to happen in his or her case.
Understanding the Last-Minute Phenomenon
As a naturally inquisitive person, I always ask the question, “Why did you wait until now to call me?” The answers I get are all over the place. Here are just a few of the actual answers I have heard to that question:
Reasons Behind Procrastination:
- “I don’t know.”
- “I thought we could work it out.”
- “I thought I could handle it and it’s, well, complicated.”
- “I just found out he/she hired a lawyer, so I guess I need one too.”
- “I don’t want to be sanctioned by the judge! What does “sanctioned” mean?”
- “I’m scared to go to court alone.”
- “I don’t want to go to jail.”
- “My _____ finally convinced me to get a lawyer.”
- “I did not have the money to hire a lawyer.”
- “I’ve been on vacation.”
- “My previous lawyer just fired me.”
Consequences of Last-Minute Approaches
"Scott was wonderful throughout the long process and it was clear to me that Scott was knowledgeable of case-law and the Wake County Court system, as well as being especially strong in court. His representation resulted in additional parenting time following the temporary custody trial and since the case proceeded to a full trial, I was ultimately awarded the custody arrangement I was seeking. My daughters reside in Wake County and now if my ex-wife chooses to relocate, I’ll have full legal custody of the girls. Throughout the process, Scott was responsive, provided extremely helpful advice, and genuinely cared about the outcome of my case. I would strongly recommended Scott’s representation for custody matters."
"Cared About My Situation"
I was out of options and Scott was there to help. I have spoken to or met many attorney's in Wake County and Scott was the only one that REALLY actually cared about my situation. It sounds cliche' but it's not. I could clearly tell that Scott had given a lot of thought to my case. Scott has extensive knowledge of the law. That knowledge coupled with his cerebral approach and courtroom presence were a savior. - Ken
"Scott Allen and his team were sensational during my divorce proceedings. They kept me well-informed of the procedures, requirements, and options. They took the time to explain to me at every step of the decisions and options as we moved forward in my life. Their support, knowledge and presence were comforting in my time of need and help me get through the ordeal. While no divorce is pleasant outcome they help me secure my life and begin a new chapter with a fresh start. Their extensive knowledge of the law and arbitration and negotiation skills were invaluable in getting a good settlement and resolution. I am very pleased that I selected Scott and his team to represent me. I would emphatically recommend Scott and to anyone who is facing a divorce or possibility of a divorce."
"Fought for My Rights"
I wanted to go to court and he went with it. During the initial hearing and all the subsequent hearings he fought for my rights and presented my case diligently and proved the claims by the other party to be false. Most of the lawyers, will tell you settle as it saves them and the court time, but it might not be always in your best interest. Scott is not those lawyers, he really cares about his clients and is not afraid to litigate or fight for his client’s right in the court. - Susan
"I Began to Sleep Better at Night"
Scott Allen took my divorce case after my first lawyer failed to stand for my rights.Scott took the case and I began to sleep better at night. My marriage ended from abuse so I was very weary. - Felicia