Not all marriages last forever. Some couples eventually find themselves not totally compatible along the way hence, the decision to divorce.
While ending one’s marriage can be a devastating and stressful experience, it can be overcome by the spouses involved. Hiring a divorce lawyer may help lessen the burden particularly in accomplishing the paperwork required. It can also reduce the emotional stress that couples and their children experience during the divorce process.
It is very important then to be able to choose the right lawyer to help you from the start. Having a good divorce attorney is crucial in achieving the result you desire for your case as well as saving cost and time.
So how do you choose a divorce lawyer who can handle your case?
Consider your need for an attorney early on. If you are foreseeing a divorce happening, it may be a good idea to consult with a divorce lawyer early on. This way, you would know the legal steps you can take in the event it’s time to file a divorce or you are served with divorce papers. Being prepared is a must so you can have the time to choose the right lawyer for you rather than rushing to find one when you’re already in the divorce stage.
Get referrals instead of simply searching online. Ask colleagues, financial advisors, marriage therapists, other lawyers and even certified public accountants (CPAs) to refer you to a good attorney. You may also approach friends who got divorced in the past two years.
On the internet, you can visit various websites that offer client reviews of attorneys in your specific locality. While online, you can already start inquiring as some websites do provide customer support via chat or phone or even free consultation.
When shortlisting lawyers, do consider those who specialize in family law or divorce. These legal professionals are most knowledgeable about divorce cases and therefore, they should be able to handle your case more efficiently. Normally, they are also updated on the trends and changes in family law and divorce.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions. During your initial consultation, feel free to ask questions including the background of the lawyer. You may ask about his or her approach to a divorce case, the cases he or she has settled and even the retainer fee. As with the fee, any unused portion should be refunded to the client hence, do take note of this.
Do consider your thoughts and feelings. After the consultation, find time to determine if you were comfortable with the lawyer or felt intimidated, if the lawyer was a good listener and transparent about his or her services including the fees. An attorney whose attention is focused on you during consultation and is not distracted by phone calls can be a good fit for you.
The next step is to shortlist at least three lawyers. Avoid hiring the first one that you meet but take the time to know each of them before making a decision. It’s important to note that some lawyers have a tendency to brag about their high-profile clients or disrespect other attorneys and if you meet these types of people, you may be better off finding someone else.
Focus on your goal. While you may be experiencing an emotional rollercoaster after your marriage ended, do focus on your desire to get a divorce as soon as possible and with less cost. Don’t dwell so much on the material things such as in the case of your personal belongings and properties as this could make the process longer and more expensive on your part. Let your lawyer negotiate well on your behalf for what is rightfully yours.
Go with the professional and good communicator. Finally when making your decision, choose the lawyer who is knowledgeable, professional, responsive and communicate well with you. Go with who you can trust, one you can be comfortable with and who supports your philosophy on divorce.