More Divorce Topics
Selecting a Great Divorce Lawyer
Firstly, let's consider use of the words such as "best", "great", "perfect", etc. Words such as this are relative only to your particular situation and circumstances. You need to find a divorce law firm that closely aligns with your particular needs.
When trying to qualify and select the best divorce lawyer in your area, some key things to consider are:
Experience and Understanding
Sure, a young lawyer may be less expensive, but do you want them to get their divorce experience plodding through your divorce? Our advice is to move past any lawyer who is not clearly an expert in divorce and family law matters.
A lawyer, and definitely a full-fledged law firm, that has managed a multitude of divorces is definitely on their game. The sheer experience of managing contested, uncontested, and mediated divorces is priceless. Having gained a working knowledge of how certain judges want things done, and how other local attorneys manage divorces provides a huge strategic advantage. In some cases, personally knowing other divorce attorneys can make it easier (less costly) to work through the divorce process.
Ethics and Compassion
Face it, your divorce is probably going to have its share of disagreements and interpersonal conflicts, maybe even some very intense periods. A good lawyer will get you through it with minimal stress and anxiety. What you don't want is a lawyer who keeps you stirred up, wanting to fight, over every point. This serves only the lawyer who is billing by the hour.
You need a lawyer who is generally amicable but that can scale up the intensity to whatever level is appropriate for the moment. Keep in mind, fighting is rarely progress, being able to keep communication flowing is productive.
Find a lawyer who is honest enough to tell you that it's ridiculous to spend hundreds of dollars fighting over something like a lamp. Your lawyer should be compassionate about your situation and fight for what is right, but not play your emotions to make money.
Capabilities and Resources
Taking your divorce to a solo-practitioner is like going to a sandwich shop with one employee at lunch time. What you get won't be anything like the picture. An overburdened lawyer is forced to minimize communication, is almost always poorly prepared, prone to missing deadlines, and lacks time to really develop a strategic plan.
Inversely, a law firm with a pool of experienced talent (multiple lawyers, paralegals, and staff) can create and execute a sharp plan, keep things on track, and provide timely communication. The amount of available resources matters, so choose a lawyer that can bring a lot to bear on the situation.
Check Online Reviews
Observe the number of reviews. A greater number of reviews better assures you of being able to get a realistic assessment of performance. Reviews earned in the past 12 months help you to know how they are doing at this point in their career. Don't be put off by a few bad reviews as some people have unrealistic expectations and some have created a no-win predicament.
Total Cost of Legal Services
How much your lawyer charges is obviously something you need to consider. Expensive doesn't necessarily mean better, but you can bet that a lawyer with cheap rates is definitely a sign of a starving, underperformer.
If you and your spouse pretty much agree on every part of the divorce you can find an average priced lawyer to draft the settlement. One of you will have to hire another lawyer to "represent you" and basically just review the settlement with you and validate that you had the advice of a lawyer serving only you. An experienced lawyer may cost more per hour, but be able to breeze through the process in less hours than a newbie lawyer spending hours looking up ways to handle your divorce. This can save money in the long run.
For an uncontested divorce, there will be some friction requiring litigation but you may be able to avoid the costly route of divorce court trial time. Finding a lawyer who is skilled in mediation is something to look for, as well as having a strong command of divorce laws and how to sculpt a favorable result.
For a contested divorce, you should know going in that your divorce is going to be pricey. The process will consume vast hours of intense litigation and probably divorce court trial time. Your lawyer must have significant trial experience. With a seasoned lawyer the money can rack up fast, but if you hire a cheap lawyer you're almost certain to get cleaned out in litigation. Do everything you can to hire a very experienced lawyer backed with a great legal staff. Never forget, you'll be living for quite a while with the results of their work. Don't trust your divorce to just any lawyer.
Trust Your Instinct
Listen to your gut instinct and consider how comfortable you feel when talking with any prospective lawyer. Try to gauge their sense of sincerity, and ask yourself if they truly seem to be listening to you.
If you follow the advice posted here we're confident that you will find the best lawyer for your situation. We would certainly appreciate the opportunity to interview for the job. We invite you to contact us to arrange a time to visit with a divorce lawyer to discuss your situation. Simply call us at 770-956-1400 to get started.