Clients frequently request that a divorce lawyers gender be of a specific to represent them.
Some women, for example, may think that having a female legal adviser will help their lawyer understand their situation better. That is unquestionably an important factor to consider. The client must feel at ease with their attorney and believe that they truly understand their goals and objectives.
On the other hand, some people choose a male or female advocate in the mistaken belief that their gender will help their case in some way. Women may believe that having a male lawyer will make them appear more aggressive and fight harder for them. Men, on the other hand, may believe that hiring a female attorney will make them appear softer and more sympathetic, particularly if the divorce involves child custody and parenting issues.
Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to negotiating a settlement.
The truth is that having a divorce lawyer of specific sex will make very little, if any, difference in your case. Remember that only a small percentage of divorce cases—possibly less than 5%—ever go to trial. The majority of divorce cases are resolved. Is it true that the gender of your attorney has an impact on the outcome of your settlement negotiations? In any divorce, there should be no winners or losers. Adopting a calm, measured approach to resolving a volatile situation in family proceedings is often the most effective strategy. If you rely on gender stereotypes, you may believe that a male attorney will not back down and will get you what you really want or that a female attorney will be a better communicator and will come up with more creative resolution options. In some cases, you may be correct, but in reality, the personality and experience of the attorney are more important in negotiations, not their gender.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Divorce Attorney?
People who believe that hiring a divorce attorney of a specific gender will help their case are frequently disappointed. Remember that divorce cases aren’t heard in front of a jury, so your attorney’s sex won’t influence a group of your peers to rule in your favor.
A judge decides whether or not a divorce case should go to trial. While the gender of your attorney may make a difference to the judge, I can assure you that it will not! Judges in local courts are almost certainly familiar with attorneys with a lot of divorce experience. To the extent that the judges are concerned about your attorney’s gender, they will be concerned about his or her professionalism, ethics, and preparation.
Choosing the Right Divorce Attorney for You
Your divorce lawyer gender may not be relevant to a judge, nor will it affect their ability to assist you in reaching a settlement. That being said, you may prefer to work with a male or female attorney, which is perfectly acceptable. The decision to hire a divorce lawyer is a deeply personal one. Your attorney is your companion on a tense journey, and you must feel at ease with the working relationship. You need someone you can trust at a time when your world seems to be spinning out of control.
Other factors to consider, in addition to your personal comfort with your attorney, are your attorney’s experience, particularly with divorce cases and cases similar to yours; your attorney’s professional ethics; and your attorney’s reputation with other lawyers in the courts.
A good family lawyer, regardless of gender, should be sympathetic and understanding of your situation and work tirelessly on your behalf to reach an agreement so that you can move on with your life and look forward. That’s what we strive to do at Cohen & Winters. Regardless of the lawyer’s gender, we believe it’s most important clients find the New Hampshire family lawyer that they best connect with when it comes to not just family law, but all areas of practice.