As the saying goes in baseball, you have to take the game one inning at a time. If you are playing in the first inning of a game, but your mind is on the ninth inning, the game probably won’t go well. A baseball player has to focus on the here and the now. A baseball player has to worry about each play, each at-bat, and not miss opportunities at the moment by being distracted about the future.
In this same vein, the same rule applies to divorce or family law cases. When a case begins, parties can’t help but think about the ninth inning. “How will the case end?” “Will I be able to move on with my life?” “How much child support will I pay?” “Will I get fifty-fifty custody?” Questions like these can overwhelm a party and cause them to literally obsess about the future. Put simply, they can’t stop focusing on the ninth inning when they start the game in the first inning.
As a result, the following can often happen:
- Many clients are not interested in filling out the divorce paperwork that the attorney has given them to complete at the start of the case. They delay. They drag their feet. They think it’s a waste of time. They do it because they are thinking about the ninth inning — and don’t see the point of such a boring and mundane task like initial paperwork.
- When the initial pleadings are filed, and discovery takes place, versus doing a job completing interrogatories propounded upon them, it gets pushed to the side. They don’t see the point of filling out something so time-consuming.
- When an attorney asks for deeds, bank statements, tax returns, and other necessary documents to prepare the case, the client is again not interested in doing it and delays. They shift back to asking questions like: “When will this case just end?”
- When an attorney indicates that an appraisal is needed, or that another expert should be retained like a business evaluator, forensic accountant, vocational expert, or child custody evaluator, the client has no interest because these are irritating fourth or fifth inning tasks.
- When an attorney asks for other information, like the names of important witnesses as the trial nears, the attorney has to ask multiple times for the information and/or never get the information. They’ll often say things like, “I will get it to you,” but then that information never ends up in the attorney’s hands.
Keep your client’s focus in check
In sum, when a client is so focused on the ninth inning, that they do a poor job in the other eight innings, this makes it hard for an attorney to do their job, get the case prepared and this can result in increased attorneys fees as the attorney has to continually request the necessary information. Or, in a worst-case situation, the lack of focus on the present can become so bad that the outcome of the client’s case can be put in peril.
If you are going divorce in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area in Missouri or Illinois, it is important to remember that you have to do a good job throughout the case to ensure that you are still in the game when the ninth inning arrives.
If you are looking for representation in a divorce or family law matter, Stange Law Firm, PC can help. We have offices throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan Area in Missouri and Illinois. You can contact us at 314-963-4700.