How To Avoid A Communication Breakdown With Your Family Law Attorney

Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What does a “No-Fault’ divorce mean in NC?”


A recent article in the Huffington Post discussed a common complaint that many clients have with their family law attorneys: a lack of communication. The article, written by a divorcee and now paralegal, offers insight into the problem as well as advice on how to ensure you don’t fall into an annoying trap of bad communication with your attorney.


Rotary phone 1 Charlotte Divorce Attorney North Carolina Family Law LawyerIn almost all aspects of life, communication is key. In fact, a breakdown in communication often contributes to many people’s decision to file for divorce in the first place. Given the time, money and stress involved in a divorce, you do not want to make an already tough situation worse by communicating badly with the one person who you’ve hired to help see you through the process.


Communication is critical during the North Carolina divorce process given how many sensitive issues need to be worked out before the divorce can be finalized. When communication breaks down between an attorney and his or her client, it can end up causing frustration on both sides as well as waste serious time and money.


Rather than wait for things to get bad and then having a meltdown over unmet expectations, the author of the Huffington Post piece suggests some proactive conversation with your lawyer from the very beginning to ensure communication lines stay open. To guarantee that you both are on the same page about how much communication is possible and the ways in which it should occur, it is a good idea to discuss communication procedures in your initial meeting with the lawyer.


This means you should ask how the attorney prefers to be contacted, how long you should expect to wait before getting a response and who will be handling the contacts. Though you might assume every email or call will be returned by your lawyer, the reality is that other attorneys or support staff might be working on your case and smaller matters could be better handled by someone else. Rather than be surprised later on, it’s a good idea to sort the issue out from the beginning.


When you do contact your attorney it is critical that you try and limit the scope of the communication to the facts. If you have a question, make sure to lead with the question so your lawyer knows what he or she needs to address. If you are responding to a question with information, lay out the facts clearly and concisely, doing so will save the lawyer time and save you money.


The final bit of advice for those worried about communication trouble is to simply go with your gut. When you meet with a lawyer who has come recommended to you, it is critical to listen to your instinct. Do you believe that your lawyer is the kind of person who understands your case and your needs? Does he or she seem like the kind of person you can reach out to and feel comfortable with? If not, that should be a big red flag and it might be worth continuing your search until you find someone you click with.


If you find yourself facing a complicated family matter then you need the help of experienced family law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.


About the Author:

ARNOLD&SMITH_243 3.jpgMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses his practice on most aspects of Family law including: divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, and equitable distribution. Mr. Arnold is an experienced trial attorney who has tried jury and bench trials in both North Carolina District Court and North Carolina Superior Court.

Mr. Arnold grew up in Charlotte, graduating from Providence Senior High School and continued his education at Belmont Abbey College on a basketball scholarship. After graduating cum laude he attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship. In his spare time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time on the North Carolina Coast with his wife and three young children: two daughters and one son.



“How to Deal With the #1 Complaint About Divorce Lawyers,” by Nancy Kay, published at



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