In my previous article, I talked about our assessment process and how it differs from the traditional first meeting between a person looking to file for divorce and a divorce lawyer. But I wanted to cover what clients come away with when they leave a Hance Wickham assessment, because I think it’s the most important part of the process.
When people come to us looking to divorce, many of them are nervous or upset or dealing with other emotions that come with divorce. We’ve found that many people only hear a certain percentage of what we tell them the first time around, and even if they take notes and take home our handouts, they might miss items that pertain specifically to their cases.
So we do something simple to address this issue: We record the part of the meeting where we give advice to each client, and give that client a CD copy with that advice on it.
We do this for several reasons. First and foremost, it gives our clients a chance to listen to the advice as many times as they need to. Because it’s on a CD, it’s portable, and can be played on a computer (with headphones) or in a car stereo – which makes it easier for someone to listen to it alone without interruption.
Also, there’s something about hearing information that makes it qualitatively different than reading it on a page. We can emphasize particularly important portions of the advice we’re giving more readily if we’re saying it. And, as an added benefit, we can be far more calm and reassuring in a recording. After all, at some points in the divorce process, it can be helpful to hear your lawyer talk to you – even if it’s a time when you can’t reach your lawyer on the phone.
Many of our colleagues were surprised when they learned we do this for our clients – some of them have even told them it’s a crazy idea, because if a client feels he or she got bad advice later on, we’ve supplied the client with a recording of that bad advice.
But we’re not in the business of giving bad advice. We give each of our clients careful consideration, and give recommendations that we believe best fits a client’s situation and goals. We don’t have the slightest bit of hesitation in committing our advice to a recording – especially since it does so much for our clients as they prepare for divorce.