During the divorce experience, it can feel like every new topic that comes up is a series of new questions to be asking your attorney. You may feel overwhelmed by it all or feel like you should not ask as many questions as you might be asking.
You can really get lost in all of the language and feel like maybe you should not be relying on your attorney as much as you are. Asking questions about any topic that you may be unfamiliar with is something that not everyone feels comfortable doing, and it is not something to be ashamed of.
Feeling shame, fear in asking
Many either feel shame in asking for help, or they are looking to maintain their independence on some level. According to The Huffington Post, the incapacity to get help from others and the inability to ask for help does not mean independence in the positive sense.
The reason behind people being hesitant to ask questions is fear. They are afraid of being rejected and receiving a simply ’no’ to whatever question they may be asking. Many have that sentiment instilled in them at a young age from teachers, parents, siblings or childhood friends who rejected the childhood curiosity.
This sense of fear was brought to adulthood, and it becomes split into several possible fears: the fear of depending on someone, the fear of appearing weak, or the fear of being out of control of what is going on.
Setting your case back
Those fears can make someone asking questions feel humiliated or ashamed, and during the divorce experience, those fears can set your case back. Many who hesitate to ask questions are unaware when the divorce process proceeds and do not speak up when they should.
This can be detrimental with or without children. With all that you may have to lose during the divorce experience, such as assets, finances, and custody, among others things, you need to be able to speak up and say something, and if you do not know something, you need to be able to ask about it.
There are many confusing concepts and terms that come up during the divorce experience, and it is up to you to ask your lawyer about them. They cannot read your mind, and they will not know that you are unaware of a concept or a phrase unless you point it out.
Trust your attorney
Creating that conversation with your attorney is important, because it gives you that sense of comfort. Many people feel that they pay the legal fees, their attorney will automatically know everything that they want in the divorce experience, but unless you say something, they will not be able to help you the way that you want them to.
You also cannot trust that your ex-spouse will give you exactly what you want, even if they say so, which reinforces the sentiment that you need to speak up. You both may be seeking primary custody of your child, or you both may be seeking major assets, such as the house or the car, that require you to speak up and defend your right to make a claim on the item. You need to convey these sentiments to your attorney and join them in this process.
They also want you to be a part of the conversation. They do not expect you know everything, but they would definitely prefer you to make them aware of everything. Chances are, they will have just as many questions for you as you may have questions for them.
That will help ease you into asking questions, if you are feeling anxious about it. It also is important to ask the right questions, especially about their experiences. While your attorney may not be able to dive into a ton of specifics, they will be able to provide some generalities that will give you the context necessary to be an active participant in your divorce case.
As much as the emotions of the situation may enflame some old insecurities in asking questions, it is important to consider the implications in not doing so. Regardless of whether or not you are fully over those issues, it is important to do what you can to put them aside for the time being. Your future is depends on it.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.