It’s a pity that you have to prepare for a divorce. But if that seems to be the preferred way to put an end to a long marital crisis, you’ll need to hire a competent divorce lawyer. Choosing one is not always an easy task because different lawyers excel at different aspects and approaches to divorce, from collaboration to mediation and financial issues. That’s why you should read the following tips to guide your search.
1 Choose the Process Before the Lawyer
Do you know that you can choose the type of divorce process you want to use? You can decide to use litigation, mediation or collaborative divorce and you can settle some of the divorce proceedings out of court. It’s only after choosing the process that you should begin the search for your divorce lawyer. For instance, if choose to get a mutual divorce without raising up a lot of bad feelings, don’t hire a lawyer that will heighten the conflict. But if your spouse has hired an aggressive lawyer, you need to do the same.
2 Pick an Affordable Law Firm
You can find legal services for almost any budget. If you and your spouse don’t own many assets, businesses, lands and houses, you don’t have to hire a big divorce law firm to give you adequate representation in court. Nonetheless, you need a lawyer that knows enough about handling finances and complex divorce cases. If you have no children or property and joint bank accounts, you don’t need those big law firms. You can save money and hire a solo divorce lawyer.
3 Get Referrals
Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find a good lawyer. So find someone who went through a divorce case recently and was satisfied with the service offered by her lawyer. Ask for the type of process she went through and add the lawyer to your list of prospects. Just ensure that the person went through a process that’s similar to yours. If you know a trusted law firm that doesn’t do divorce, ask them for a referral. Good lawyers tend to recommend other good lawyers.
4 Consider Experience and Qualifications
Not all lawyers can handle divorce proceedings and not all family lawyers have adequate courtroom experience. Within your budget, you should strive to get a family lawyer who also handles divorce regularly. While it is always desirable to hire a specialist, you can still hire a law firm that handles different types of cases as long as they have a track record of at least two cases or more per year.
5 Interview a Couple of Lawyers
To choose the best lawyer for your divorce case, take the time to interview at least two lawyers. It’s true that repeating your story more than once can be traumatic and exhausting. But talking to more than one lawyer will help you to get different points of view on your case. After you’ve received advice from different lawyers, you can think through each approach and choose the one you prefer.
6 Ask the Lawyers the Right Questions
Talking about divorce can get you nervous and emotional. If you are nervous, you could easily forget the important questions you need to ask your prospective lawyer. You may also forget the questions your lawyer asked. The best way to make the most of the interview is to write out a list of questions when you are calm. Then take a pen along with you so you can take notes while you are talking with your lawyer.
7 Trust Your Gut
It’s important to use your head and your heart while you are choosing your lawyer. If you notice that you don’t feel good about the divorce lawyer or a voice keeps saying “no”, please listen to it. If a lawyer yells at you or talks down at you or acts insensitive, he is probably not going to be a good choice. Also, if a lawyer keeps receiving phone calls and checking text messages from other clients during your meeting, it’s a bad sign. The lawyer probably has more cases and clients than he can cope with. It’s time to find a better option.
These tips simplify the process of choosing a divorce lawyer. Once you know the divorce process you will be using and you ask for recommendations from friends and family, take your time to talk to a few lawyers. Then choose one that is affordable, competent, attentive and friendly.