Tips For Selecting The Right Divorce Attorney
The selection of your attorney will likely be one of the most important factors in the outcome of your divorce. With such a massive pool of lawyers to choose from, making such an important decision can be extremely difficult — particularly since the needs of every case will be different. It will take a lot of research and time, but the choice of your legal representation should not be taken lightly.
Don’t simply pick the first lawyer you contact
It is vital that you do your homework and actually meet with several attorneys before you put down a large deposit to retain one. Trust is extremely important in the relationship you will develop with your attorney, and you need to meet them to get a feel for that initial first impression.
Talk to people you know who have been through divorce
It can be an awkward conversation to bring up, but talking to friends, family or coworkers who have been through divorce can give you a good place to start. Despite the ability of researching on the Internet, first-hand accounts are still a really good way to get quality information.
Don’t assume that if you’re a man, only male attorneys can successfully represent you
The chance of your attorney’s gender impacting the outcome of your case is not very high. It is much more important to worry about finding a competent and dependable attorney that you feel comfortable being around. What should matter most is that you trust them to fight for your best interests, regardless of their gender.
Be wary of advertisements
While TV and radio ads may indicate a successful lawyer or firm, that isn’t always the case. Ads are simply meant to attract business and don’t necessarily reflect the track record of an attorney.
How To Choose A Divorce Attorney
A divorce is one of the most traumatic events in a person’s life, ranking right up there with the death of a loved one. A divorce is also one of the few times – and maybe the only time – a person has to deal with the court system.
Ending a disintegrating marriage is made more difficult by the complexity of the divorce process and the emotional stress of dealing with the issues of child custody and support and division of assets.
Understanding the legal process is as baffling as trying to understand complex medical procedures, and just as you need to trust your physician, you need to feel confident with your attorney during a divorce. Your divorce attorney must be a combination of therapist, confidant, clergy person and “legal eagle.” So, how do you find this person to whom you can entrust your future?
Get referrals from friends
If you have friends who have gone through a divorce, ask what they liked and disliked about their attorneys. Was your friend’s case as complex or less complex than your own? Was the attorney equally competent in handling emotional issues such as custody and “business” issues such as division of assets? Also, ask about the attorney who represented your friend’s spouse.
Meet with several attorneys
Schedule appointments with several attorneys for consultations, and let the attorney know you are in the interviewing process. Most attorneys won’t see you free of charge since they have only their time and advice to sell, but some offer discounts for the initial consultation.
Ask the right questions
When you meet with an attorney, bring a list of questions regarding your concerns in choosing an attorney as well as your personal concerns in the divorce case. Ask how the law firm bills its clients and ascertain the billing rates for each person who will be working on your case
Secrets Your Divorce Lawyer Won’t Tell You
When competing for new business, it may behoove lawyers not to impart everything that their schooling and experience has taught them to prospective clients. That’s partly because some of what they know is not what a client wants to hear and painting an optimistic picture of the outcome can secure new business. What’s more, they might know something that, if they shared it with a new client, could negatively affect their bottom line. Below are twenty secrets that a divorce lawyer may not want to share with you.
It’s going to cost more than you bargained for
It’s not always the case—but more often than not, the costs associated with your divorce will often be higher than your lawyer’s original estimate. Contested divorces cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000, though there are plenty of ways to limit the staunch the outward flow of cash before and during the process. A key part is to keep an open mind and focus on tomorrow’s opportunities rather than yesterday’s injustices.
That legal costs may compel you to live very frugally
No one wants to lead by asking you to make some dramatic cuts in your expenditure, but you would do well to take a long, cold look at your cash flow and think of ways to make some significant changes if need be. Seeing a big dip in the manner to which you’ve become accustomed is dispiriting, but it’s better to temporarily cut corners in your lifestyle than be represented by a bargain basement lawyer who could miss opportunities in getting you a favorable outcome.
That you may have to accept responsibility for the divorce
Fault-based divorce is when one spouse committed an act that gives legal justification to the ending of the marriage. These acts include adultery, a felony conviction, cruelty, or desertion. If you are the spouse that committed one of these acts, it could have a negative impact for you on things like child custody and the division of property, depending on local laws. It’s important to prepare for this scenario and attempt to determine all defenses available to you.
That you’ll save money and heartache by being organized
Divorce lawyers often charge by the hour. If you take responsibility for being as organized as possible, not only are you likely to walk away from your marriage with a more acceptable outcome, you’ll probably save some money too
How do I find a good divorce attorney?
My wife just informed me that she’s in love with someone else and wants a divorce. She already has a lawyer for herself. I’ve been getting names of possible attorneys from friends, but my friends often say things like, “This one will make sure your wife won’t get a penny.” Of course I’m angry, but I’m not sure I want this to turn into a heated battle. What qualities would you advise I look for in a divorce attorney?
A good attorney can change the course of your divorce. It can be the difference between feeling like you have an advocate to protect you, or feeling like you’re fighting a battle alone. Divorce is hard, but an experienced divorce lawyer can take on some of that burden and help you achieve your goals. Find out more about what to look for when choosing a divorce attorney.
What Type of Attorney do I Need?
When you’re getting a divorce, you’ll need an attorney who is experienced in family law matters. A old college friend who now practices medical malpractice law isn’t likely to be the best choice to handle your divorce. Different areas of the law have different rules and requirements. Attorneys in each practice area have different skill sets. Divorce can be a complex process and it’s essential to have an attorney who knows the nuances of family law and is familiar with your local court’s rules and judges.
Can My Spouse and I Share an Attorney?
The short answer is “no.” The professional rules of conduct governing lawyers prohibit attorneys from representing both spouses in a divorce. This would create a conflict of interest for the attorney, since your interests, rights, and needs in a divorce are adverse to your spouse’s. A single attorney can’t ethically give good legal advice to two people in adverse positions.
How Do I Know If an Attorney Is the Right fit?
You should interview any prospective attorney just as you would someone who was applying to work for you. You need to like your attorney. It’s also important that you have confidence in your lawyer’s abilities and respond well to communication style. Some lawyers pride themselves on an aggressive demeanor, while others highlight their ability to collaborate and settle most divorces without a drawn-out courtroom battle.
How to choose a good divorce lawyer
The choice of a divorce lawyer is crucial to the outcome of your case and the way it progresses. Choosing the wrong lawyer can increase the emotional stress of being involved in a family law case and the cost to you and your family.
Identify the need for a divorce lawyer.
If you are contemplating separating from your partner it may be advantageous to meet with a divorce lawyer so that you are fully informed of your legal rights and directed in the best way to proceed after separation.
Ask for a referral
Lawyers, accountants, psychologists, financial planners and other professionals meet and work with divorce lawyers in the course of their work and are often a good source of referral. Ask them for the names of family law specialists with good reputations whose qualifications are most appropriate to your case.
You should avoid allowing a lawyer’s physical appearance to influence your decision about whether or not to engage them. Capable and skilled divorce lawyers come in many different sizes, shapes, genders and ages. These characteristics do not correlate with a lawyer’s ability. Irrespective of a lawyer’s ability, a client feeling comfortable is important if the lawyer-client relationship is to be a success. There is no reason not to engage a lawyer with whom you share personal characteristics with, but be sure you are not being influenced by stereotypes.
Identify your budget
Before selecting any lawyer you need to identify your budget. While market conditions such as supply, demand and competition dictate what lawyers charge, there can be a significant variation in fees.