I recently watched an interesting spy movie called “Bridge of Spies.” Tom Hanks plays an attorney who represents an old man accused of being a Soviet spy during the Cold War era. The most memorable of the scenes depicts the attorney meeting the accused spy for the first time. They discuss the attorney’s legal services. As he advises his new client of his duties to him, their conversation gets a bit interesting.
Attorney: “Quite frankly, everybody else has an interest in sending you to the electric chair.”
Accused Soviet Spy: “Alright.”
Attorney: “You don’t seem alarmed.”
Accused Soviet Spy: “Would it help?”
During the conversation, the accused spy seems stoic and nonchalant-even a bit amused-which leaves the attorney nonplused. After all, the accused spy is facing the death penalty, isn’t he?
Most folks, myself included, would certainly be overwhelmed by anxiety in this situation. This anxiety is caused by one of our most primitive fears-the fear of darkness or the unknown.
People going through divorce are no exception to the fear of the unknown and often show signs of this fear. Certainly, there are many unknowns in a divorce proceeding, especially if the case goes to trial. What if my wife gets custody of my children? What if my husband gets the marital home? What if I go to trial and lose? Should I settle? Should I take the risk and go to trial? And so on.
There probably is no panacea for all of these worries and concerns-and I doubt that the most effective antidote will eliminate this fear. The most we can do is to manage or mitigate this fear and anxiety.
One effective method to cope with this fear and anxiety is to seek the advice of a family law attorney who practices in the geographical area of the court where the divorce action is pending. Schedule consultations and talk with multiple attorneys in that area. While there probably won’t be any attorney out there who can predict the precise outcome of your divorce case, you may be able to get an idea of where the river will flow under your circumstances.
Will worrying excessively about the uncertainties in your divorce action help your case? Probably not. But, would talking with family law attorneys who have practiced numerous times before the presiding judge help your case? Probably yes.