If you’ve chosen to leave your marriage, finding a divorce lawyer is an incredibly important decision. If you have children and there are significant assets, investments, and debts that need to be sorted, you need an experienced divorce lawyer on your side to give you proper legal guidance on issues such as child custody and asset management.
Aside from experience, there are several vital factors to consider when finding a divorce lawyer. From their communication skills to the consultation and representation rates, we’ve compiled some critical points to help you make this crucial decision.
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Because of high tensions and emotions and complex legal processes, divorce proceedings can be exceedingly challenging. With a professional and reliable divorce attorney, you can have the peace of mind you need as you go through the procedures.
Years of Experience
Finding a divorce attorney in your area with a substantial amount of experience should be one of your top considerations. An experienced local divorce attorney is familiar with what to expect from the court in your jurisdiction. This capacity can be used to your advantage. You should also employ the services of an attorney that solely practices family law or divorce.
In certain unique situations such as divorce involving a member of the military, there are divorce lawyers knowledgeable in military law.
Testimonials from Previous and Current Clients
Another tried-and-tested way to attest to the credibility of divorce attorneys is by finding out what their clients have to say about their experience.
Typically, attorneys would share client testimonials on their firm’s website or social media profiles. You can also check online for readily available testimonials posted on review sites.
If you can’t find any reviews online, ask the attorney for a list of previous clients that you can reach.
One more option is to get in touch with your state’s bar association to check for any grievances filed against the lawyer you’re considering.
A common reason for a client’s unhappiness or dissatisfaction with their attorney is unreliable, or sometimes even non-existent, communication.
Accessibility and promptness in replying to clients are two vital traits any lawyer should have. You can, of course, check what the law practice’s office hours and communications policies are.
You should be able to assess the divorce attorney’s professionalism by their accessibility, reliability, and promptness, and the ease of communication.
Clients should be left feeling pleased and satisfied with their attorney’s level of communication. They must genuinely feel that their attorney is advocating on their behalf.
Finding a Divorce Lawyer: Fees
Before scheduling an initial appointment with a divorce attorney, you should check if there is a consultation fee. Many attorneys offer free brief consultations. Some charge their regular hourly rate or a fixed consultation fee.
With attorney fees, here are what you should find out:
- What the hourly rate is
- What the retainer fees are
- If there are any refundable segments of the retainer fees
- What payment methods are accepted
- What the payment schedule is going to be like/when you should expect an invoice
Before signing a contract with your attorney, make sure that the document clearly outlines the fee arrangements both parties are comfortable with.
Your Peace of Mind
The factors we’ve mentioned above are all crucial when finding a divorce lawyer. However, another equally important consideration is your own comfort and peace of mind.
Ask yourself if you’re comfortable with the divorce lawyer you’ve picked.
Do you have complete faith in your attorney? Are you confident in his or her legal abilities? Is your attorney showing sufficient attention to your case? Is he or she willing to spend enough time make all the necessary preparations?
Finding the right divorce lawyer may take several meetings with different prospects. It may even take a few meetings with the attorney you’ve picked before deciding that he or she is the right one for you.
Take advantage of these meetings to get a good grasp of an attorney’s work ethic. You want to pay attention to their body language, word choices, and the way they conduct themselves. These signs say a lot about how they will handle your case.
Finding a Divorce Lawyer: Don’t Rush It
It’s a process that you wouldn’t want to rush; this is an important battle in your life, and you want to make sure you have someone in your corner to advocate for you.