Divorce can be incredibly difficult and stressful for most families. This is why choosing an experienced divorce lawyer who will provide guidance and protect the interests of your family is paramount.
Finding the right divorce lawyer for you will diligently guide you through the process of divorce. He/She will work to protect your family’s interests in matters by taking a firm stance in solving marital disputes. Hiring a divorce lawyer can help family’s reach fair conclusions in divisions of property, spousal support, child support, visitation rights, and more.
It is important to always remember that divorce is a legal process. Its sole purpose is to dissolve your assets and resolve custody issues. The best divorce attorney will represent you to the best of his or her ability in this process.
While you might want your lawyer to listen and understand your anger, frustration, pain, and sadness, that is not their job. What seems immensely important to you, might barely register for them within the scope of the legal process. Being realistic about the role of your divorce attorney will help you avoid any misuse of your money.
Stay focused on the goal.
The ultimate end goal in this process is to get divorced. Don’t let your emotions jump in and run rampant when it comes to negotiating over material things that don’t mean much to you in the big picture. Material items can always be replaced.
Arguing over material things can make your divorce take longer and definitely quickly become more expensive than otherwise. Keep your focus on getting divorced as quickly, and with as little financial damage, as possible.
Know what you want.
Divorce can get expensive. You should consider other alternatives to traditional litigation before continuing with filing for divorce. If you aren’t completely entangled with children and finances, you could hire a mediator to help you negotiate the terms of your divorce. Mediation is the fastest, cheapest way to get divorced. You might not need to hire a divorce attorney at all!
If negotiations are complicated, you’ll need to hire a divorce lawyer to negotiate a settlement with your spouse’s attorney. You can also consider a collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce is focused on negotiation with the goal of preserving a co-parenting relationship.
Your last resort is a litigated trial. Typically, these are the cases when neither side will compromise.
Don’t hire the first lawyer you meet.
Explore your options. A good lawyer will advise you to find at least three divorce attorneys that you can interview before making your decision.
When choosing a divorce lawyer, you shouldn’t jump to hire the first lawyer you meet. The ideal attorney has the legal knowledge and experience you need. He or she can help you understand the process and communicates and negotiates well. You should be able to depend on your divorce lawyer to solve problems creatively and is experienced in your specific court system.
Regardless of whether or not your divorce is headed to trial, your attorney needs to be experienced with the family law judges in your jurisdiction. So that he or she can advise you appropriately on legal strategy.
Interview and Research.
When interviewing divorce lawyers, about their rates. Most divorce lawyers charge an hourly fee and require a retainer — a fee charged in advance. Some lawyers will also negotiate fees based on anticipated settlements.
Don’t waste your time (or theirs) on a meeting if they’re out of your cost range. Most divorce attorneys provide a free consultation to discuss your specific situation and what their legal approach would be.
Look for red flags.
Unfortunately, many attorneys will tell you what you want to hear just to close the deal. While this is your life, it’s a business for them. There are no guarantees in this process, so if an attorney is making promises, don’t believe it. If an attorney talks about high-profile clients or divulges confidential information based on other cases, it’s highly likely they’ll do the same to you. If they aren’t respectful of other divorce attorneys you’re interviewing, it’s a sign that they won’t be to you either.
And if during your consult, they’re constantly distracted by phone calls and emails and can’t focus their sole attention on you, they likely won’t during your divorce case. Make sure the lawyer you choose acts according to the professional ethics of the industry and treats you with the respect and attention you deserve. This might be their business, but it’s your life.
Make your choice.
The divorce lawyer you choose should be someone you trust and feel comfortable with.
A family law attorney should recognize the importance of your children and put them first in the legal process by not making unreasonable child support demands or custody arrangements. Divorce is a highly personal and emotional process, the outcome of which can have a significant impact on your life. This is an important decision, and there are no guarantees in this process. However, if you follow these steps, you’ll find the right one — the one who listens to what you want, advises you well, and has your best interest at heart.