How to Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer
1. Know What Is Important to You – In any one divorce case there are endless issues that can be fought over. From child custody and child support to alimony and attorney’s fees. If you don’t narrow down the issues in order of importance to you, you will spend a great deal of time and money litigating everything. Know what your not willing to back down on and what you are willing to negotiate on will give the lawyer you do choose a better understanding of what you are looking for and can ensure you have reasonable expectations when it comes to results.
2. Stay Focused on Your Goals – Often times the other side will attempt to make things difficult during a divorce, particularly when there is a lot of animosity amongst the parties. The nature reaction can sometimes be to fight fire with fire, but in doing so, you often lose sight of what your goals are for the case and you begin to fight over things that have little or no importance to you. Stay focused and be the bigger person.
3. Have Realistic Expectations – The worst thing you can do is go in to a divorce with unrealistic expectations. Not only does that make it very difficult for your divorce lawyer to effectively represent you and you will never fully be satisfied. A good divorce attorney will manage your expectations and give you a realistic result based upon your goals and those issues that are important to you. It’s important to always remember that an attorney’s job is not to tell you what you want to hear, its to tell you what you need to hear, particularly when it comes to what kind of result you can expect. So please do disregard an attorney during a consultation simply because he is not telling you exactly what you want to hear, chances are that’s a quality divorce lawyer.
4. Ask for Referrals – The best place to start when searching for the right divorce lawyer is by asking your friends and family. Not only are they more likely to steer you in the right direction, but usually a referral is based on a positive experience they had with that particular divorce attorney. Please keep in mind that the facts and results for every case are different and you cannot hire an attorney expecting the same results that a friend or family member may have received.
5. Do Your Research – Whether it’s a divorce lawyer that was referred to you or one you found on the internet, you need to do your research. Like many other professional service providers, you can find reviews and disciplinary histories for most attorneys. In addition, nowadays almost every attorney has a website that you can browse to get information on the divorce attorney’s experience and accomplishments.
6. Sit Down With More Than One Attorney – In most cases you will want to sit down with more than one attorney in order to find the right divorce lawyer for you. Sure there are people who will hit it off right away and skip this step, but for the vast majority you will want to shop around to find the best fit.
7. Cost Should Always Be a Consideration – Just because you’re not a millionaire, doesn’t mean you can’t find a quality attorney. There are plenty of divorce lawyers who do amazing work at a reasonable price and aren’t knocking on your door on the 1st of the month when you haven’t paid last month’s balance in full. Whenever you meet with a potential divorce attorney you should ask about any cost saving measures they can employ and whether or not they offer payment plans.