I recently went to the doctor. Let me back that up, I went to 3 doctors recently all for the same condition. It started with a headache that led to a “cold” that finally led me to go to the after hours clinic where I was told I had a sinus infection. I took the antibiotics I was prescribed and tried to my best ability to remember to take the nasal spray. At the end of the course of antibiotics my sinus infection was not gone.

I again went back to the after hours clinic where I was given a different antibiotic, a shot of steroids, additional steroids, and a lecture about my dislike of the nasal spray. By the next day I felt great! I was back running and feeling great until 3 days later when all my symptoms were back. So finally I break down and make an appointment with a regular doctor.

At the doctor’s office I am first seen by the physician’s assistant who says that I am on the right medications but would probably add an over the counter medication. Then the doctor comes in and repeats that I am on the right prescriptions but then goes on to explain how despite the fact that I have told them I do not have allergies that this is likely related to allergies. She takes the time to explain why the nasal spray is important to clearing up my sinuses. She explains why a daily allergy pill will likely relieve my “cold” symptoms that I get a couple of times a year. She details out how the nasal passages work and why she believes this is all allergy related. She also explained that the reason my symptoms were back is because the steroid shot had worn off and that the tapered pill steroids are not as strong as that shot was. She asked me to give the prescriptions a couple of more days to feel better and if not to come back in 2 days later. I left her office with no new medications, still feeling crappy, made that appointment for 2 days later, however, in 2 days I felt so good that I cancelled the appointment.

So how does this relate to a Family Law blog you might be asking? I relate this article to the free legal advice/forms some people receive versus hiring a lawyer. Yes, many attorneys offer free initial consultations. The advice they give you in this consultation is likely correct, however, it cannot take you through the entire legal battle you have. Things change throughout a litigation case and a lawyer has to constantly reevaluate the case. You could probably meet with multiple different lawyers throughout the case to give you free consultations on that stage of your case. The issue is that the attorney does not have the full picture of your case and can only give you advice about that portion of your case.

Many people use the free forms that are available to file for divorce. These forms are great for couples that do not have any assets or have no children. These forms do not give you the information needed to take you through a property division or conservatorship of children.  An attorney has the knowledge to guide you through the process. An attorney has taken continuing legal education courses about the various topics that come up through divorce so they are equipped to assist you.

So like the physician’s assistant, free consultations and free forms, the information will not necessarily be inaccurate, however, like the doctor and lawyer, a more complete picture is available to you when you hire an attorney to navigate the legal process with you.

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