Going through a divorce can often cause a tremendous amount of anxiety and heightened emotions. No matter how amicable the split, you and your ex still need to deal with tough topics like child custody and complex property division.
You may feel better starting the process with an experienced family law attorney. But how do you know what to look for in a good divorce lawyer?
Generally speaking, it may not be the best idea to hire the first lawyer you call – unless you think they are the right one for you, of course. Divorce attorneys approach things differently and you want to make sure you find the right advocate for your family. If a friend offers their legal services for your divorce proceedings, thank them kindly and keep looking. Divorces can be messy and awkward. Hiring an objective attorney with no personal ties to you or your future ex is the recommended route.
Choose your attorney by matching their strengths to your most pressing divorce proceeding issue.
Are there complicated financial issues to resolve? What about a contentious child custody issue? You will want a lawyer who focuses on the issues that are most important to you.
Are you predicting a contentious divorce that could go to court? Then it would help if you had a lawyer with a proven track record in the courtroom handling divorce proceedings.
Maybe you and your soon-to-be-ex are working together toward an amicable and collaborative divorce. If so, then a high-powered trial lawyer with no experience in this type of proceeding won’t be the right choice.
Can you afford the attorney’s services? Don’t look for a high-priced lawyer unless you have the assets to justify the cost – and can comfortably afford the price tag. Being able to afford the services provided by your divorce attorney is essential. There’s no need to go broke in the process. Find a lawyer that fits what you can afford and discuss fees openly. Being surprised when you receive your first invoice is not a positive experience for the client or the attorney.
On the other hand, you may want to consider hiring the best you can afford if you can stretch your budget. Spending money on an attorney with a higher hourly rate may actually cost you less if they have the experience to be more effective and efficient in resolving your case. Your attorney of choice is especially important when there are custody issues, high-value assets, businesses, or multiple homes at stake.
Whichever attorney you decide to hire is ultimately up to you. Research your options and know what you are looking for – as well as what you can afford – before you start.
Preparing yourself before beginning your divorce attorney search may help you find the right one for you that much faster, and potentially make the process less stressful.
While divorce may be common, when you go through it yourself, you still deserve dedicated, personal focus on your rights and unique situation. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you figure out the best way forward, explain the law, and represent you in court if it is ever necessary. Take the first step now and contact a local divorce attorney to discuss your divorce.