“But I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind if I have to make a decision. This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, looking deep into myself, taking the necessary time. The wisdom of discernment redeems the necessary ambiguity of life and helps us find the most appropriate means, which do not always coincide with what looks great and strong.” – Pope Francis
Most emergency and temporary hearings occur at the beginning of a case. When parties separate as a result of a pending divorce, adequate provisions need to be established for support. In cases involving children, a temporary parenting plan is essential. A problem arises when individuals experiencing the emotional roller-coaster that a divorce setting can simulate request their lawyer to take action on an emergency basis. This request is usually made without the time needed to assess a problem objectively. Lawyers often feel pressure to appease an emotionally charged client.
However, a lawyer’s role should never be reduced to that of a mere “mouthpiece”. Such a role for the attorney, would necessarily exclude any counsel, any benefit from past experience that the lawyer would have to offer the client. The early stages of a divorce case present treacherous ground. It is a time when discovery is incomplete and when the least amount of information is known. It is an easy time for a judge to get it wrong. Those are not ideal circumstances to appear before the judge. Rather, if a party needs to appear before a judge at all, it should be under circumstances when discovery is complete, when mediation has been accomplished, and when the lawyer has figured out the case and is prepared to present the client’s position to the judge.
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