The first decision is the hardest. You and your partner have decided to get a divorce. There are now a multitude of important life-defining decisions to be made. You don’t want to rely on a simple Google search and luck to find your lawyer. Your divorce attorney is going to handle multiple components of your divorce. They’re going to act as your advisor, spokesperson, negotiator and trusted confidant. They are going to be the person you rely on the most to advise you of your rights and the best course of action in your divorce.
Start with research
A simple google search is a great place to start. But nothing replaces a real face to face meeting. You want to be able to get a feel for the person and not rely on the opinions of others. Your gut instincts are more reliable than you might think. If the lawyer doesn’t advertise how long they’ve been practicing divorce law, that’s a good sign that they’re not very experienced.
Find a good fit
It’s nearly impossible to tell if a lawyer’s disposition matches what you’re looking for from a web search. Before deciding, you should think about what you want from them. Do you want a lawyer who’s empathetic to your plight? Do you want a lawyer who will be extremely aggressive in fighting for you? Do you want a lawyer who understands both sides and finds it important to have a cordial resolution? Do you want a law office with deep resources that can untangle a complicated situation?
Talk to friends
Some people prefer to keep their divorce a completely private matter. However, asking friends who’ve gone through a divorce for advice can be very beneficial. It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience and desired outcomes are different during a divorce.
Knowing the right questions
finally, when you sit down to interview lawyers to represent you, make sure to have in-depth questions ready. You should already have answers concerning their background. Typical questions like, “How many cases have you won,” aren’t particularly pertinent in a divorce case.
Ask things like:
How do you view the division of assets?
What do you find the most challenging part of the divorce?
What do you view as the best possible outcome for my specific situation?
Communication is key
You want a lawyer that makes you feel like you’re a priority. If your prospective lawyer is difficult to get ahold of early in the decision process that’s a strong indicator that you may want to look elsewhere. Your lawyer is not going to magically become more responsive once they have your money.
Attention to detail
Whenever you’ve made the decision to hire your lawyer make sure to pay special attention to your contract. Many lawyers will have minimum fees that’ll be charged for services even if you don’t take advantage of them. So, take out that red pen and come to an agreement about specific fees before you sign your name on the dotted line. Never be afraid to ask questions about certain parts of their contract.