Interviewer: What makes you and your legal work different from the other divorce and mediation lawyers out there? What makes you unique?
Danielle Hawkes: What makes me unique is my dynamic approach to family law. Family law requires a very nuanced, dynamic approach by an attorney who is paying attention to detail. It’s not a one-size-fits-all type of law; it’s not a winner-take-all type of law. It really requires a very strategic approach from the very beginning. It requires an attorney who can change course as the family changes. There are big changes that happen in the middle of these cases and the attorney needs to be on their toes enough to be able to change course in the right away. I am that attorney.
Interviewer: What are some things that can happen that totally change what’s going on in a divorce?
Danielle Hawkes: Someone becomes a drug addict, or someone sobers up. Someone starts dating an abusive stepparent, the child starts making claims of abuse that were never made before, or someone gets therapy and becomes a better parent that they weren’t before.
People lose jobs and lose the ability to care for children and to pay alimony. You can have a case that’s all about alimony and then the person loses their job and alimony is no longer an option.
Interviewer: What kinds of personalities of attorneys are out there and how do you work with them?
Danielle Hawkes: We have a really great legal community in Salt Lake and a great population of attorneys that are willing to work with other attorneys within a family law case is critical. It saves everyone money and it allows the attorney to come to complex solutions, which is what these cases deserve. Unfortunately there are some attorneys out there who are not willing to work across lines that way and those cases require a lot more litigation and a lot more court time filing motions.
I recommend to my clients if they’re not going to go with me they go with another attorney who is willing to work as dynamically as possible, because the attorneys who are unresponsive really just end up charging a whole lot more to their client for a lot less work.
They make problems where problems don’t need to happen.