Why is it that in the financial world and medical field second opinions are so common, and yet when it comes to legal issues people are so reluctant to have someone do an outside independant assessment of the situation until sometimes it is too late? Too often I see people hire a general practice attorney to work on their divorce matter, and then I am brought in almost at the end to try and fix things. I have no doubt that if these people were dealing with doctors or financial advisors and lost confidence in these professionals, they would have sought out another professional sooner, and I wish more people would do the same when it comes to their divorce matters.
Consults are rather inexpensive– and fast. They usually take an hour, with the client describing the situation in about 30 minutes; then the attorney explaining the law and options in the remaining 30 minutes. One-time consults can be used to review documents, like prenups or Separation Agreements, before they are signed. We can flag issues, offer suggestions and strategy, and often times prevent major mistakes from occuring– like waivers of certain rights that may not be undone once a contract is finalized.
There is a lot of information available online these days, and I am all for people saving money and doing as much as possible for themselves, but often in my head I hear myself say “penny wise, pound foolish” when people come to see me to try and fix a mess that cannot be easily corrected. So, before you finalize any contracts, or if you find yourself losing confidence in the attorney you have hired, go ahead and get that second opinion. You probably will spend more on fuel in one month than it will cost to have the peace of mind from an expert on an issue that could impact the rest of your life.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.