When you’re going through a divorce, it can be difficult to know exactly what to look for in an attorney that will best help your case. If you’re not careful, you may end up choosing the wrong lawyer, which can cost you valuable time, money, and the ability to win your case. Keep these seven tips in mind when looking into hiring a divorce lawyer near you to help make sure that you choose the right one.
1) Keep an open mind
If you’re looking to have a divorce lawyer represent you, it’s important to keep an open mind and do your research on potential candidates. The following are some questions that you should ask in order to make an informed decision:
-How many years of experience does this lawyer have? -Does this attorney specialize in family law? -What is their success rate? -Do they take my insurance? -Do I need to sign up with a certain company as a condition of hiring them?
2) Interview multiple attorneys
What are some of the reasons that you decided to specialize in divorce law?
I loved hearing people’s stories and helping them figure out how to move forward with their lives.
What is your favorite thing about being a lawyer?
Helping people through difficult times in their lives. It is really satisfying.
Can you tell me about any difficult situations or clients that you’ve come across? I have represented both men and women, but there were a few cases where we could not come to an agreement on the final settlement agreement. In those cases, I would suggest mediation before going to trial so that we can try to work out our differences without dragging them out any longer than necessary.
In my opinion, what sets me apart from other attorneys is that I am willing to take on cases where other attorneys might be hesitant, like if one spouse wants alimony payments or assets split 50/50.
3) Understand your state’s laws
It is important to understand your state’s laws before you file for divorce. Some states require a waiting period after filing before you can go ahead with a divorce, and some states have a mandatory separation period. In certain states, there are also restrictions on how children are handled during the process. For example, in California, if one spouse files for divorce and does not provide the other spouse notice at least 90 days before filing, then he or she will not be able to get divorced until that time has passed.
4) Create a budget
- Get a referral from an acquaintance or friend.
- Contact your local bar association to find a lawyer who specializes in family law and divorce cases. The website will list lawyers by name and location.
- Ask the lawyer how many years they’ve been practicing law, what percentage of their practice is devoted to family law, and what percentage of their cases are divorced.
- Prepare a list of questions that you want to ask your potential attorney during your initial meeting, including questions about fees and specific legal issues like child custody and property division matters (For instance: What are my chances of getting joint custody?)
5) Ask about communication skills
- -How often will I be able to reach you?
- -What are your hours?
- -How many cases do you currently have? -What is your typical case load per day/week?
- -Do you charge by the hour or by the project? Will I need to sign a contract and pay a retainer fee, or will my case be billed on an hourly basis with periodic invoices issued as work is completed? What happens if I cannot afford to pay you on an hourly basis and would prefer to pay a flat fee for a certain number of hours (e.g., $3,000)? Can we negotiate that in advance?
- -How long have you been practicing law in this area?
6) Know your rights as an individual involved in a divorce
It can be hard to know where to start when you’re going through a divorce. You may have questions about what to do next or who to turn to. If so, it’s important that you know your rights as an individual involved in a divorce. Here are some suggestions:
- The first thing you should do is find out if there is any financial support available through the court system or government agencies. These resources might include child support, alimony, or public housing assistance.
- Next, document all of your savings and spending habits over the course of at least three months before you file for divorce and consult with a financial advisor on how best to proceed financially after filing.
7) Ask about conflict resolution skills
It can be hard to figure out what skills to look for in a divorce lawyer. You may have heard about cases where a lawyer’s lack of conflict resolution skills has exacerbated an already difficult situation. To make sure you end up with the right lawyer, here are seven important questions you should ask:
1) How often do they represent parties in my type of case? 2) What is their success rate? 3) What is their approach to negotiations? 4) Do they have experience working with people like me? 5) Are they familiar with local court procedures? 6) Will I have access to them if I need them at any time during my case?
Ultimately, it is important to find a divorce lawyer that meets your needs and has the experience to handle your case. Your divorce may be one of the most difficult events in your life.
Communication face to face is good ideas