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Top Ten Ways to Communicate With Your Michigan Family Law Attorney in 2010

10. Keep a list of issues and questions, and do not call your attorney every day, but save them so you can contact your attorney with several questions rather than one which is a way to economically cover issues and still have your questions answered by your attorney. 

9. Communicate with your attorney by e-mail, but don’t do it every hour or with every thought. Try to cover several issues or questions at once. Do not abuse email.

8. Call your attorney, but do not do it every day. Save up your questions and ideas.

7. You can always communicate with your attorney by fax.

6. Make sure that your communications are responded to, no matter how they are conveyed to the attorney Phone calls, emails, letters and faxes all deserve a response.

5. Communicate by snail-mail. Bear in mind that this is a good way to communicate if there are several issues to be raised, but it is also a slow way to do so.

4. If you have questions or issues, don’t be bashful. Remember that your attorney is working for you. If you have a concern about an issue in your case, raise it. Communication is a two-way street, and it is important to communicate. You deserve to know what is going on. You deserve to know what strategies are being raised. If there are issues that you have questions about, you deserve answers. They should all be in a timely fashion. There was once a study done with regard to phone calls and messages, and when a client reasonably expected a return call. The possible answers were: immediately, within two hours, within four hours, by the end of the day, within 24 hours, or whenever. The correct response was within three hours. In reality, that is often impossible, but it is reasonable to expect a return phone call within 24 hours. I always try to return calls and respond to my client’s e-mails by the end of the day because I know that people are going through a very traumatic time in their lives, especially in a family law situation.

3. Trust is important. Having confidence in your attorney is important. Through communication and feeling that your attorney has your best interests at heart, this trust needs to be established. It is important to feel that you are not just a number, but are very important to your attorney because what you are going through in a divorce, child custody, or other family law related matter, is one of the most important situations in your life. In terms of stressful situations, the worst psychological event is the death of a child. Second is the death of a spouse. And third is a divorce.

2. If there are problems or issues, don’t be bashful about asking. If you feel that something isn’t being properly handled, ask your attorney about it. If you feel that you have not been notified about something on a timely basis, talk to your attorney about it. Remember that your attorney is working for you and not the other way around.

1. Meet with your attorney. Face to face communication is critical. At the initial consultation, this is how you establish a rapport. This is how you decide whether or not you are going to retain a particular attorney. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Don’t hesitate to take notes. Make sure that before you retain an attorney, that this is the person who you will entrust one of the most important times in your life to. Don’t hesitate to have regular meetings so that you can make sure that you are both on the same wavelength, and are doing things and working together. You and your attorney are part of a team, and this is important.