How to Deal with Difficult Parties and Counsel in Family Law Matters

  • November 30, 2023
  • Ilana Arje-Goldenthal

In the practice of family law, we frequently encounter “difficult” personalities. It might be our own client, opposing counsel, or a self-represented party on the other side of a file. Managing these individuals and the relationships we have with them is often the most challenging aspect of what we do as family law lawyers. And there is no training manual or playbook for dealing with them.

While there is no “one-size-fit-all” solution to dealing with these types of individuals, I have put together some strategies that have worked for me in managing these relationships and maintaining perspective in the face of difficulty.

I have grouped my suggestions below into three categories: (a) the difficult self-represented litigant; (b) the difficult client; and (c) the difficult opposing counsel. Hopefully some of these tips and strategies will prove helpful to those of you looking for ideas on how to manage challenging personalities you might encounter.