A Divorce Lawyer’s Thoughts

By: Britton Hawk, Esq. | October 27, 2021

As a divorce lawyer, I became interested in becoming a member of the Charleston Cooperative Family Law Association for many reasons. The primary reason is that I believe the cooperative law process is the best way to resolve certain cases. For litigants who can work cooperatively, the benefits of surviving family court with relationships and pocketbooks intact is huge. These benefits extend to the children as well. I have mostly found in my practice that my clients are looking for a cooperative solution to their family law issues. More often than not, clients who come to me wanting a divorce or separation do not want blood from the opposing party. They want a fair resolution at a reasonable cost. This is exactly what the cooperative process is designed to deliver, and being a member of the Charleston Cooperative Family Law Association helps lawyers to better deliver these results.
While resolution of any case is ultimately up to the client, the role of the attorney is pivotal. For many people, the first time they speak with their lawyer is the first time they are speaking to anyone about the details of their situation. They are often in a hyper emotional state. The right lawyer in this position can steer their client toward the cooperative process if appropriate. The wrong lawyer may convince the client to blaze a war path which, in the end, may lead them to much the same result they would have gotten through a cooperative approach, but at extra financial and emotional cost to the client.
Clients often ask me, “How do I get a divorce without starting a war?” In response I stress that an amicable resolution depends heavily not only on the client and their spouse, but also on the approach of opposing counsel. One of the great benefits of being a member of the Charleston Cooperative Family Law Association is being able to direct these clients to the CCFLA website and tell them to suggest that their spouse pick a lawyer from the group. This maintains the other party’s freedom of choice, while ensuring that the lawyer she or he selects is one who is committed to a cooperative resolution. With both parties represented by counsel willing to engage in the cooperative process, the client can rest assured that if it is possible to resolve a case cooperatively, it will be done.
There is another benefit to me as a divorce lawyer in being in the Charleston Cooperative Family Law Association: I simply enjoy my job more when the lawyers and clients are engaged in a cooperative process. As a member of the CCFLA, I hope to grow relationships with fellow lawyers interested in cooperative law in order to better serve our respective clients with fair, reasonable, efficient resolutions.

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