Working with a law office makes most people uncomfortable.
Though many fact patterns appear to be similar, each person’s situation is unique. The ability for people to successfully navigate their legal issues is often impacted by many factors, including the emotional well-being of both spouses, both lawyers, the judge and even the jurisdiction.
We are sensitive to the needs of a person who is in a failing marriage or in the divorce process. Brigid understands that contemplating, considering and following through with a divorce involves great emotional, mental, spiritual, physical and financial turmoil.
Mission Statement and Philosophy
The Law Office of Brigid A. Duffield, P.C. succeeds by delivering excellent client service. We are committed to conflict resolution and keeping money in clients’ pockets. We believe in:
- Service beyond expectation, achieved through a constant desire to anticipate and fulfill evolving and challenging client needs.
- Providing legal support for clients as they resolve conflicts in their marriage or post-marriage relationships.
- The honesty, intelligence, integrity, confidentiality and commitment of our staff as vital to our success. We take pride in what we do and respect each of our unique and necessary contributions.
- Exemplary customer relationships that drive growth and repeat business while demonstrating our commitment to the community.
- Providing education to the legal and mental health communities on issues related to conflict resolution.
Brigid’s Practice Areas Include:
- Child Custody & Visitation
- Child Support & Maintenance
- Modification of Orders
- Discovery of Assets
- Asset Distribution
- Collaborative Law
- Real Estate Law
- Elder Law
The Legal Process
The legal process will go as quickly or as slowly as the slowest person in the marriage. Most people make the mistake of rushing and will prematurely file for divorce. This starts a long and expensive process that has an unpredictable path. Too often people start the legal action without thinking through the real response of their partner. Frequently, the mere act of filing for divorce sets in motion a time and money whirlwind that spirals out of control and takes financial resources from the family that could be better served if retained by the family…like in a college account. Careful consideration to the timeline, the desired result and the real ability of a courthouse to deliver the best solution must be made. Failure to do so means extra dollars spent yielding significant long-term financial and emotional detriment to the entire family, often most significantly to the children.
Very few people feel that they were served well or even adequately by the court system. Taking control of your legal case increases the likelihood of dollars saved, relationships preserved and satisfaction realized. It means better results and less chance of having to go back to court in the future.
Working with a Lawyer
Choosing a lawyer is difficult. If you are lucky, you will never have to pick one. But for anyone considering or going through a divorce or even a separation, consulting with an attorney is a must. Family, friends and therapists will often have a suggestion of a good lawyer. Those suggestions or referrals are just that: suggestions. Take the time and make the relatively inexpensive investment of interviewing a few lawyers before you make your final selection. This is a very personal and potentially long-term relationship.
Your expectations and the lawyer’s ability to deliver the result you hope to achieve must match. If not, you are guaranteed to experience disappointment with the process, the timeline, the cost and/or the result. Assess your communication and work style during your consultation, discuss with the lawyer how you expect the lawyer to work with you. Be sure you are comfortable. Hiring a lawyer is just like hiring any other professional. Trust your gut. This is an expensive, long-term relationship….you don’t want to have to find a new lawyer or change your legal strategy part way through.
Preserving Your Estate, Keeping Your Assets
Most people spend too much money on a divorce. The family is always better served if the marital estate remains with one or both of the parties, ultimately the children, rather than paid out as legal fees. Separation and divorce are expensive. The family budget, at a time when it is already strained, takes on the added costs of legal fees, attorneys, second households and therapy. It may also require mediation fees and custody evaluation costs. Taking actions to carefully plan the added layers of cost will preserve the estate. Though not an easy task and contrary to most people’s instinct, being candid about divorce, having those difficult, critical conversations, not keeping things secret and/or hiding assets help to control the time and cost of a divorce.
Using conflict resolution techniques such as mediation or collaborative law will redefine relationships to preserve them for the future and may reduce the cost of the process. Learn what process will work best for your style and that of your spouse and family. Make sure your legal team and your legal strategy meet your objectives. Trust and use your lawyer. Well-intended friends and family members may give you advice, usually based upon someone’s horror story. While they may be trying to protect you, often friends’ and family’s advice is base on situations which are completely different from your unique fact pattern.