A name that means something to people, such as “Darling” or “Gentleman” or even “Sue,” has become a standard part of divorce law.
But it’s a common name that also has its critics.
There are a few common misperceptions.
The first is that a lawyer’s name can’t be used in divorce.
It can, but only when the parties themselves agree.
And that can be difficult to do, says Julie E. Smith, a partner at New York City law firm Debevoise & Plimpton.
There is also the misconception that a judge is required to hear a name-and-shame suit.
If a lawyer is named in a lawsuit, the judge must make an order naming the lawyer and her client.
“In general, the law is not clear that the judge has to hear it,” Smith says.
And if a judge does hear the suit, it must include the name of the lawyer’s spouse.
The second misperception is that lawyers are always going to be the one to win the lawsuit.
It’s true that some lawyers are known to be particularly adept at the legal art of litigation.
But a lawyer has to be willing to take a lot of risk to get her client a settlement, Smith says, and lawyers are often reluctant to take on expensive cases.
That’s why the vast majority of lawyers don’t get named in divorce lawsuits.
“It’s just not worth the risk,” Smith explains.
In addition, if a lawyer wins the lawsuit, she or he can be held responsible for the damages suffered by her client, if she or they can prove that the lawsuit was unjustified.
“The lawyer has a lot to lose if they get sued,” Smith adds.
So the most important thing to remember when naming your lawyer is that you should not give her or him any credit.
That means calling him or her by her legal name and not using any other words or phrases that may imply that you’re trying to protect them.
And you should also never give her an attorney fee.
“You want to be very careful about how you use her name,” Smith advises.
The final misconception is that if you want to use your lawyer’s initials, you should be careful about what you say in court.
“An attorney’s name should not appear in a divorce case.
It should not be used as a legal trademark,” Smith notes.
“If the judge says you’re using her name as a trademark, that means that you can’t use her initials in a case where they’re going to have to pay for her services.”
The law is clear that a name that does not have a legal value cannot be used to identify a person or a property in a marriage, Smith notes, but the lawyers can choose to use their name for that purpose.