Home for the Holidays
So many people find themselves in such difficult places at this time of year. They feel like they, and often their children, have been discarded for a variety of reason ranging from a previously unknown other relationship to a spouse who just doesn’t want them any longer. What a horrible way to spend this holiday season. What a terrible way to be treated. It is difficult to explain why the Christmas season inspires so many people to proclaim the end of their marriages or relationships.
I have always, throughout my career as a family law lawyer, marvelled at how people who once loved and cherished each other could so quickly and coldly turn on their spouse as if they never mattered. How can they put their children in a place that is so far behind the person they have suddenly decided they ‘love’ more than they love their families. How is it that people show more loyalty to a new relationship than they ever showed to their wife, husband or children.
The courts are clogged with people getting in line just before Christmas for something called a ‘vacation motion’. People actually try and stop their estranged spouse from taking the children away during the Christmas school break. Why? Because they try and use the children as a means of punishing their former spouse or just making their lives difficult. And at the same time the enjoyment of their children. For some reason I cannot explain they don’t actually care about how their attitudes and their actions affect their children.
So what can you do about this and what can you expect your lawyer to do to help you. That is a difficult point to deal with because so much depends on you, what you are prepared to do to help yourself get through this rough time, and what kind of lawyer you have found and hired to help you. The first thing on your agenda should be self-protection and self-preservation. Do what needs to be done to make you and your children safe and secure. That may mean spending time away from your own home and with members of your family. Or staying at a shelter. Or with friends. But most of all away from any opportunity for your spouse to abuse you or to bully you.
Get yourself a really good lawyer. Like any other profession there are good lawyers, bad lawyers and mediocre lawyers. Some times the lawyer who you end up with will be just plain good luck or just plain bad luck. Some times it will be a recommendation from family or friends. Some time it will be a result of careful research on your part. You must understand that it is your obligation to interview lawyers who you may want to represent you and you must understand your obligation to make certain that they are compatible with you, your personality and your expectations. You are hiring someone who will be working for you. Make certain they meet your expectations and if they do not then find someone else. Take your time. Pick a person who you believe will actually care about you and value you.
I know for certain that all of the lawyers at Bookman Law take the time to screen their potential clients for criteria such as compatibility with them as people as well as lawyers, for the issues they want to pursue and to make sure they can really help clients achieve the results they are looking to attain.
You and your problems are and should be the only focus of your meeting with your potential lawyer. Make it work for you. Make sure that you and nothing else is that lawyer’s main focus.
Steven M. Bookman specializes in family law and works with Bookman Law Professional Corp at 1881 Yonge Street, Toronto. He can be reached at 416-488-2243 or at [email protected].