7 Tips for Choosing a Divorce Attorney
Going through a divorce is a difficult and emotional process. To protect yourself, it’s a good idea to have an experienced divorce attorney standing by your side. Choosing the right attorney is important because the outcome of your case will affect your life. Here are seven tips.
1. Decide Type of Divorce Process
Knowing the type of divorce process you’re entering or want to pursue helps choose the right lawyer. Are you open to mediation or collaborative divorce? If so, explore attorneys specializing in these areas. Planning to go the litigation route with court intervention? Then you’ll want an attorney with courtroom experience. If your spouse has already hired an attorney who plans an aggressive strategy, you’ll want someone equipped to jump right in and fight for your best interests.
2. Ask for Referrals
Referrals shouldn’t make your decision but could send you in the direction of a highly recommended attorney. Before calling law firms, verify any referrals you receive specialize in the type of divorce you want to pursue. Your friend's divorce may have been volatile and ugly, but yours appears to be amicable. You can even ask attorneys you have spoken with about other legal areas to see if they can give professional recommendations for divorce lawyers.
3. Search Online
Search out attorneys who specialize in divorce and carefully read their websites, blog entries, and social media postings. Learn about their philosophy and style because this can help you identify attorneys who might be a good fit. Also, seek out ratings and reviews, but remember to take these with a grain of salt. Use them to get a general idea of their reputation.
4. Choose a Family Law Attorney
While some attorneys offer numerous different legal services, this doesn’t mean they possess the expertise required to handle Family Court proceedings. A lawyer who has regular family law experience and thoroughly understands the laws in your state is important. Family law is complex and involves many different factors.
5. Interview Two to Three Lawyers
Attorneys all have varying perspectives. It’s a good idea to talk to at least 2-3 before making a decision. Ask them how they’d handle your case and learn what their thoughts are regarding your specific situation.
6. Ask a Trusted Family Member or Friend for Help
Going through a divorce is an emotional time and, if you’re struggling to just get through the day, ask for help. Getting prepared for a divorce is exhausting. Ask someone close to you if they’re willing to go with you to meet with attorneys, take notes, and help you ask the right questions. Another set of ears can be invaluable to help you make the best decision during this difficult time.
7. Find a Realistic Attorney
Divorces, by nature, involve conflicts and often anger. The right lawyer will connect with you and understand your needs and feelings. However, they’ll also set realistic expectations, provide sound legal advice, and not build your case based on emotions at that given time.
Remember, when choosing an attorney, you don’t need to choose the top search result on Google or the first one you meet. Be sure to take the time to look at a few options before making your final decision.