John Zenir - February 2020

The Law Office of John M. Zenir 516-746-0180

February 2020

The Balance of Family Law How We Manage Our Hearts and Our Heads

Nearly every legal proceeding comes with heightened emotions, especially when it comes to family law; most people cannot help but think with their hearts. Resolving issues concerning our loved ones, especially children, creates strong emotions that play a major part in the decisions my clients make at the beginning of the litigation. Family litigation is personal problem-solving. There’s nothing more personal than family because the bond developed is without comparison. This bond, of course, differs for everyone, but no matter which way you slice it, it is a bond created by a unique relationship. When that delicate relationship is jeopardized, it becomes an immense problem. Like most people, I developed aspirations for the family I wanted to create in the future. The relationship I formed with my wife has been one of love and continual support, which translated into raising three wonderful children. Family is the most important thing in my life, and I believe that outlook has influenced the way I practice law. It has made me realize that the first step in establishing a quality attorney- client relationship is listening. Communication by listening is key because when you go through something like a divorce, a child custody matter, or property distribution, it’s important that the client’s feelings are heard completely in order to be certain that all the issues are discussed. I’ve discovered many strategies in past cases by simply opening up

be legally sufficient or insufficient so that we can move forward with maximum credibility.

the avenue of communication and letting my clients tell me everything they feel they need to tell me. Some say a lot, while others say very little. However, it is the act of giving people the opportunity to open up and listen that allows the client and the lawyer to see what they truly want and need. When this becomes clear, we can then begin to develop strategies for the resolution of legal issues. As the conversation moves along between myself and my client, we both begin to gain clarity as to what the possible issues are. The next step is to take all the input that the client has given me and apply it to both the evidence that we believe we have and to the law. I term this phase of the attorney-client communication process as “developing a legally sufficient strategy.”This is where the client and I must realize which of those emotional facts will

The clarity that I mentioned earlier is developed by combining the emotional facts we are aware of with the legally sufficient facts to determine the alternatives we have available. I have found over the years that in utilizing this process, the best possible strategies are developed, as we have considered all of the facts, both the emotional and legally sufficient. The client learns that many of the important, common sense, emotional facts do not apply to the legally sufficient facts 100%. However, there are facets of the litigation that can help us learn more. Presenting a case that is legally sufficient is paramount to success.

Joke of the Month Families are like fudge ... Mostly sweet, with a few nuts.

-John M. Zenir | 1

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