When You Treat Your Divorce Lawyer as a Therapist

couple talking to a divorce lawyer

Divorce is more than just a legal matter. Apart from resolving a number of issues related to child custody, support payments, and property division, there is also a range of emotions involved. Sadness, anger, guilt, fear, and other emotions can come into play and have the ability to influence your decision, as well as the outcome of the settlement or resolution.

This only makes it important to have a good support system. This can include your friends, family members, and other relatives. If the divorce seems overwhelming, you can benefit from consulting a licensed therapist who will help you navigate negative emotions. They will also allow you to talk about issues or other problems that you don’t feel comfortable discussing with loved ones.

Your divorce attorney is not a therapist

Hiring a lawyer is important, but this doesn’t mean that you can skip hiring a therapist and treat your attorney as one. Although the right legal professionals care about you and your case, it is best to be detached to allow them to do their job properly. Keep in mind that your lawyer is there to offer legal assistance, not emotional support.

Divorce lawyers in Salt Lake City, Utah share some of the signs that you are becoming over-dependent to your attorney and treating him/her as a therapist:

  • Calling your lawyer several times a day (or when it isn’t necessary). Contacting your attorney just to chat or find emotional support is never recommended. Doing so also means taking up their valuable time that could be better spent at reviewing your or other clients’ case. It is also likely you’ll end up paying for those calls and have higher fees in total.

  • You are asking more about personal advice (not legal ones). You need to take a step if you are constantly asking your lawyer about aspects of your personal life or venting your feelings. Do take note that the main goal of having a lawyer is to protect your rights assist you with legal matters. They are not your life coach or a shoulder to cry on.

  • You don’t focus on the facts of the case during meetings. This is like number two, as this also means wasting time and money. Rambling about how stressful your life is won’t help your lawyer because the main objective of the meeting is to focus on the relevant facts to get the settlement that is beneficial for your future.

Working better with your lawyer

client and lawyer handshaking

With the right lawyer, you can expect professionalism to help get through the process or settlement. You can still ask a question, but be sure to be organized and focus on the facts. It is best to prepare before meetings and don’t forget to take some notes. Doing so can make your appointments productive and avoid unnecessary legal fees.

You can further help your lawyer by providing them with enough material to work with. Present yourself as a good client by being prepared and gathering necessary documents that can help the job done faster. These include bank accounts, credit card statements, retirement accounts, tax returns, and others. Also, don’t forget to be honest about important matters.

While you cannot discuss your personal hang-ups with a lawyer, do find a healthy venting source. You can turn to friends or families, find a support group, or talk to a therapist. Having great support and being emotionally strong can help you navigate the divorce process a lot better.


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