One of the first things that will happen when you find yourself faced with a divorce is well-meaning friends and relatives will offer advice about what you should do and how you should do it. While their intentions are always good, you should not base any critical decisions on the advice of loved ones, even if they speak from experience. This is when it becomes critical that you find an attorney who will serve your interests in a realistic and practical way. In a highly stressful time, it’s important that you face the decisions that will follow pragmatically, and with the right legal counsel. There are a few things to remember when looking for the best legal counsel for you.
Tips for Finding a Good Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is a LEGAL process, therefore regardless of how much pain and anger you are working through, the end goal is to keep emotions out of the proceedings and move towards a speedy and fair divorce as quickly as possible. You will need to find an attorney you feel comfortable with and who will listen with empathy and compassion, but the ultimate goal is to resolve your legal issues quickly and with as little financial damage as possible so that you can move on with your life.
Be realistic about your goals for your divorce
Be realistic about what type of divorce is best suited for you by evaluating your overall relationship with your partner and what is likely to be the easiest route for dissolution of the marriage. There are several different types of divorces and that can determine what type of attorney you need based on your circumstances.
Look for an experienced attorney
You will need an attorney who has experience in family law and who is able to communicate with you and the judges in your court system. Consider hiring a lawyer who has relationships in the legal community in which they practice. This is where asking friends and family if they’ve had positive experiences with local attorneys could be of help.
Do your homework and voice your concerns
Do your homework before you choose your attorney, make a phone call, and ask for a meeting. Voice your concerns and ask questions. If you suspect your divorce will require additional experts, make sure your attorney has access to any facilitators that may be required.
Pay attention to your “gut” feeling
Above all else, pay close attention to how you feel when you’re with your potential attorney. Do you feel valued and respected as a client? Are they discreet about other clients? Are they cordial to other attorneys? All of this speaks to treating others with respect and attention, and this is something you will need during a process that can be lengthy and difficult. Your divorce attorney should be local, professional, responsive, a good communicator, and above all else, an ally in your corner.
Let’s finish off with a few frequently asked questions to keep in mind as you begin your search for a good divorce lawyer.
Why do I need a divorce lawyer?
Divorce can be a complex and emotionally challenging process. A skilled divorce lawyer can provide essential legal guidance, protect your rights, and ensure a fair resolution in matters such as property division, child custody, and support.
Is it essential to hire a lawyer who specializes in family law?
While it’s not mandatory, hiring a lawyer specializing in family law can be advantageous. Specialized lawyers have in-depth knowledge and experience dealing with divorce cases, making them better equipped to handle your specific needs.
What role does communication play in choosing a divorce lawyer?
Communication is crucial throughout the divorce process. Choose a lawyer who actively listens to your concerns, explains legal concepts in a clear manner, and keeps you informed about the progress of your case.
Should I prioritize a lawyer with a strong courtroom presence?
While courtroom experience is valuable, most divorce cases are settled outside of court through negotiation or mediation. Look for a lawyer who excels in both negotiation skills and litigation, as they can adapt to the situation that best suits your case.
How do I assess a lawyer’s track record of success?
You can request references from past clients or inquire about notable cases the lawyer has handled. While confidentiality may limit specific details, they should be able to provide general insights into their success rate.
Is it essential to meet the lawyer in person before hiring them?
Meeting the lawyer in person or virtually through consultations can help you gauge their personality, professionalism, and whether you feel comfortable working with them. Trust your instincts when making this decision.
Remember, finding the right divorce lawyer is a significant decision, and taking the time to research and ask relevant questions can help you make an informed choice.