Divorce is, most commonly, an unavoidably stressful life event. At Turco Legal our approach to the practice of family law is to be prepared but pragmatic. Thorough and comprehensive but with every step having a meaningful purpose. Our job is to shepherd you through the emotional turmoil and get you the outcome to which you are entitled.
You won’t appreciate a great result unless you understand how this area of the law works. So, our first step is to educate you and that starts during your initial consultation. Yes, there are complexities in every area of law, including family law. But, all complex concepts can be boiled down to understandable, digestible terms. We get you the best possible result when you understand what’s important and what’s not, so that is our focus from day one.
Regardless of the feelings you currently have about your spouse, the objective of divorce is to conclude the process with the best possible result for you and your children. And, your chances of getting the best result improve when we work together to devise a case strategy. One size simply doesn’t fit all in divorce and that makes perfect sense. The probate and family judges can exercise incredible discretion and every case has its own set of facts and circumstances. You need to be part of case strategy development because you and your spouse know the facts better than I, your spouse’s lawyer, or the judge ever will. Spending time, particularly early in the process, developing a case strategy is time well spent.
Once you have an understanding of how the law will be applied to your case and have helped in the development of our strategy, a work plan must be set down to ensure we have all the evidence we need to win our case in settlement or trial. Essentially, if we end up at trial in your case, we’ll need to prove to the judge the existence of a number of facts, such as the value of assets, the parenting ability and history each parent has played, income of the parties for the purpose of support, and either party’s greater ability to pay attorney fees. We will need to convince the judge of our positions, which can be particularly challenging when the issue is debatable, such as the value of a business, and we anticipate a counter-argument from your spouse. It takes time to gather the admissible evidence necessary to prove facts and so, to avoid a needless last minute scramble, we take a thoughtful and comprehensive approach from the very beginning.
Whether we’re going before the judge to argue a motion or an outcome at trial or we’re going to mediation or a four-way settlement conference to negotiate resolution, the unprepared lawyer is at a severe disadvantage. Knowing the applicable law and having the relevant evidence available are two crucial steps to obtaining an ideal result. The time involved in a hearing or a negotiation are so relatively short compared to the length of the case that you would be foolish to go in unprepared, yet many do. Being prepared doesn’t just mean having what’s needed to argue your case. It also requires you to be prepared to argue against the anticipated position of the other lawyer. What evidence will the other side present and what argument will you have to exclude or minimize it? Will the other side show up with surprise witnesses? Exhibits without proper authentication? There are dozens of questions we challenge ourselves with beforehand so we’re not trying to figure them out on the spot.
We take the practice of law very seriously. It’s not just a job or a single case. It’s a career and a life’s mission. That said, we always consider the ethical implications of our actions on a case and we do so for several reasons. First, it’s really who we are as individuals. While we are effectively aggressive and will zealously advocate our position, we don’t do so by breaking the rules. It’s a desprate, short sighted lawyer who does. The world of family law practice is a small one. We appear before the same judges and litigate the same lawyers over and over and over again. Forfeiting credibility with the individuals with whom we go up against and the individuals who decide our cases would be a foolish, illogical step that would ultimately be a detriment to our clients. Instead, we take the high road and we take it always. Judges and opposing counsels alike know our firm as one of integrity and credibility and you will too, or you won’t be our client.
Damian J. Turco, Esq.
Attorney and Owner
A Strong Attorney-Client Relationship is the Cornerstone of Successful Divorce
I’m Attorney Damian J. Turco, but please call me Damian. Speaking with a divorce lawyer can seem intimidating, so I always look for ways to be more approachable. This is a good opportunity to get a sense of my experience and thought process, after which I hope I will seem more like a person and less like an intimidating divorce lawyer.
When I started my divorce and family law practice in 2008, it didn’t take me long to appreciate the importance of a good attorney-client relationship. Emotions tend to run high in these types of cases and that naturally make exercising good judgment challenging for clients. If you’re reading this, you’re likely going through or considering divorce, so you probably have a sense of this already. Either way, my point is clients tend to do better when they have a competent advocate by their side.
It’s Nearly Impossible to Exercise Good Judgment When You’re in an Emotional State of Mind
Parties who are sad, depressed, or exhausted are more likely to agree to a bad deal. When you’re angry or resentful, you may be overly aggressive. Furthermore, from the judge’s perspective, you may be unreasonable. I realize there may be facts of your case you’re not entirely proud of or happy with. It may just be that you and your spouse grew apart. It may be that there’s been a extramarital affair. There could be substance abuse or mental illness issues. Whatever the case, don’t be embarrassed. It’s extremely rare for a divorce to be one party’s fault. What happens in nearly every marriage ending in divorce is the marriage slowly eroded. Some end with a final event of sorts and some don’t.
Exhaust All Means of Saving Your Marriage Before Coming to See Us
If you haven’t tried couple’s counseling yet, I recommend you give that a good shot before calling it quits. If your spouse won’t agree to go, speak with a therapist on your own. Come speak with us if that doesn’t work or is impractical and give us the whole story. After handling so many cases, it’s difficult to think of a fact pattern that would shock us. So, regardless of the facts, a cornerstone of an efficient, fair and reasonable resolution is our working relationship.
Maximize Your Relationship With Your Divorce Lawyer
A solid attorney-client relationship means having open and honest communication. You want responsiveness and cooperation from both the attorney and the client. Trust between us is critical. Clients get the best results when we build these characteristics into our relationship. I don’t care what you call me. You can call me Attorney Damian J. Turco if you’d like. What truly matters is that we build a trusting and reliable working relationship.
Licensed to Practice Law Since 2008
I’m licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and Florida and have been since 2011 and 2008, respectively. While I’ve handled a wide variety of cases over my career, divorce and family law has been my mainstay. Today it’s almost exclusively what my firm handles. I feel it’s helpful to have a broad understanding of the law, but when you do the same thing over and over again, you become an expert. There are too many areas of practice and too many things that change too often for one attorney to be an expert in all of them.
A better system, in my opinion, is to specialize. Personal injury law is a component to our practice, but it’s limited to my assessing cases and referring them to other attorneys. Review our website and you’ll see that we spend a significant amount of time and energy educating our readers on the law. We are building the most expansive library of Massachusetts divorce and family law guidance in the state and we’re proud of it. You’ll see that throughout our Massachusetts divorce information pages and our consistently-updated Massachusetts Family Law Blog. Divorce and family law is what we’re doing day in and day out.
You Want a Divorce Attorney with Experience
I’ve personally resolved hundreds of family law cases and have overseen thousands to their conclusions, so I manage the law firm and oversee our caseload. Most potential clients meet with me for their attorney consultations and I delegate responsibilities and resources. Then, I manage the case strategy process from beginning to resolution. What I love most about my practice is that we help people through the most difficult times of their lives. I’m proud of the Turco Legal team and what we do for our clients and I hope, if you’re now dealing with these issues, that you schedule a consultation so that that we can help you, too.
We’ve Probably Seen It All
I’ve handled so many cases and seen so many fact patters, that it’s unusual that I come across something we haven’t dealt with many times before. It’s normal for clients to feel their case is unique, but, if you’re in that group, your case probably isn’t as different as you think. When it comes to the details, we probably learn more about our clients’ lives than anyone ever knew. So, one, we’re not surprised easily and, two, we’re highly skilled and experienced at resolving unusual problems. We are in court every week and are always current on changes in the law.
Contribution to Our Community
I’m dedicated to the betterment of our community, both the legal community and the general community at large. I volunteer regularly and dedicate time to leadership at the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Greater Newburyport Bar Association, Lawyers for Affordable Justice, and in doing pro bono community outreach at shelters in Boston, Lowell, Lawrence, and elsewhere in North Shore Massachusetts. I believe in the importance of attorneys giving back to those less fortunate, particularly family law and divorce attorneys because there are so many people in need of our help without the resources to hire a lawyer.
Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA).
I’m an active member and leader at the Massachusetts Bar Association, a volunteer, state-wide bar association of approximately 11,000 members, since my return to Massachusetts in 2011. Today, I serve on various committees, including the association’s Executive Management Board. I have also taken active roles in section council leadership and committee participation. Aside from serving in leadership at the MBA, I’ve served as an ambassador of the MBA, speaking at and coordinating educational programs with all nine Massachusetts law schools. I have represented the MBA at American Bar Association and National Conference of Bar President events. I’ve also had the honor of addressing hundreds of new lawyers on behalf of the MBA, as they were sworn in as lawyers of the Commonwealth.
Greater Newburyport Bar Association (GBNA).
I am one of three Newburyport lawyers who, in late 2015, organized an effort to re-establish the Greater Newburyport Bar Association, now an association of over 90 local Newburyport lawyers. I’m on the organization’s Board of Directors and serves as Treasurer. I’ve played an active role in organizing and mobilizing lawyers in the furtherance of collegiality and service to the community.
Lawyers for Affordable Justice (LAJ).
I am the Executive Director of LAJ, a legal incubator backed by Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern University law schools. Several newer lawyers participate in LAJ, charging reduced fees in a variety of case types, including business law, immigration, and family law. The majority of people in need of legal services are in the justice gap, divorce and family law parties in particular. LAJ attempts to bridge that gap by serving clients at lower rates. I also serves as a liaison to LAJ from the MBA and I serve as one of two family law advisors to the LAJ lawyers handling such cases.
Legal Advocacy and Resource Center (LARC).
LARC’s role was as a free legal resource for lower income residents for over 30 years, providing free legal advice and referrals to non-profit legal services organizations. I served on LARC’s board of directors from 2013 – 2017.
I spend a considerable amount of my time volunteering legal services at various shelters, day shelters, and soup kitchens across the state each month, providing free legal services to some of those who need it the most help.