Some couples obtain their own divorce without the assistance of a divorce attorney. In certain, rare, circumstances, when there are no assets or children, it might be an option. However, filing for a divorce can be a complex procedure, and a misfiled document can set the process back for months and add to the expense.
That is why the majority of people getting a divorce opt for legal assistance. A lawyer does cost money, although ultimately, the right lawyer can save you considerable money and problems. It is critical to find the right lawyer to work with you and for you. The attorney who handled your neighbor’s case may not be right for your situation. When people seeking a divorce go from attorney to attorney, the divorce can turn into a drawn-out nightmare that could leave you financially devastated.
How To Find Your Best Divorce Attorney
You need to understand that the attorney’s role in your divorce is to protect your interest, safeguard your assets, and help with custody matters.
It is unrealistic to expect your attorney to spend time listening to you rage against your spouse. Since he or she charges by the hour, it is also a huge waste of your money. Besides, the attorney truly isn’t interested in whether your spouse makes the children eat their vegetables or not. He or she is not a trained counselor. It is unrealistic to expect him or her to be.
Remember Your Goal
You have one goal in this process – to dissolve your marriage. It is a bad idea to let the details overwhelm the process. Do you really want to spend hours arguing about who gets the sofa or pays for the automobile maintenance? These things may seem important to you and forcing your ex to pay as much as possible may make sense, but it is almost certain you will be paying more in legal fees to win these insignificant matters. You will regret getting caught up in these details when the attorney presents his or her bill.
Understand What You Are Looking For Before Hiring Your Divorce Attorney
If your divorce is contentious and you and your spouse are getting caught up in insignificant minutia, a mediator is best able to handle such a situation. He or she is trained to listen and mediate between couples to facilitate some kind of agreement.
The mediator – not the attorney – is also trained to discuss disagreements about finances and custody issues. The good news is that a mediator is less expensive than an attorney. He or she can help you achieve a resolution that can keep the divorce from moving on to an expensive trial.
Do A Proper Job Interview
You wouldn’t hire a gardener without doing a job interview and learning about his or her experience. It only makes sense that you approach finding your divorce attorney in the same way. Speak to several potential attorneys and narrow it down to your favorite three.
How do you find these attorneys? Ask friends or your accountant for recommendations. If necessary, scroll the internet for family law attorneys near you.
The attorney needs to have experience in family law. The best criminal lawyer would not be your best partner during your divorce. Also, check any specialization within the family law category. Do you want someone experienced with infidelity, custody issues, or complex financial situations? Don’t be afraid to question the attorneys about their specific background. Much of this information can be obtained in an initial phone call. Be sure to get his or her hourly rate, because you don’t want to hire an attorney beyond your budget.
Most attorneys do offer a free consultation session. Ask very specific questions, such as how many divorces has he or she handled. Will there be additional expenses, such as for the hiring of an accountant? Take this opportunity to meet his or her assistant, secretary, or junior colleague. While you may be hiring a specific attorney, your day-to-day dealings will mostly involve staff, so make sure you can work with them.
Things To Watch Out For
If during your interview, the attorney is persistently distracted by people coming into the office or phone calls, you don’t have his or her full attention, and you likely won’t get it after the hiring process. Any good attorney will leave “do not disturb” instructions when with a client or potential client.
Always be wary of any attorney who makes broad-strokes promises: “No problem, I’ll get you the house,” or “He’ll pay through the nose for that affair.” Some attorneys will say anything to get a client; however, they are not in a position to make such unrealistic promises.
Deciding Between The Three Finalists
This may come down to personality. While the three finalists may be tremendously qualified, you will likely feel more comfortable with one of them. He or she may have a better feel for children or share your basic view of how the divorce should be handled. That should turn out to be your hire.
Hiring a divorce attorney is a business decision. You want the most experienced person for the job at a rate you can afford. And you should feel free to ask as many questions as necessary.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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