No married couple ever wants to go through a divorce. Still, the US divorce rate sits at 14.9 for every 1,000 marriages because sometimes, circumstances force them to separate.
Now, going through a divorce can be one of the most harrowing experiences for most people. It can be a rough time that’s emotionally charged and draining. It can be even more daunting to maneuver if you and your spouse can’t agree amicably.
For this reason, selecting a divorce lawyer can go a long way in easing the process.
The thing is, though, with the divorce lawyer and attorney market worth a staggering $11 billion, how do you find the right one? In this post, we’ll take you through a comprehensive guide on how to find the best divorce lawyer in your area.
1. Experience in Family Law
One of the most important things you have to consider when selecting a divorce lawyer is their experience in family law. The longer they have been practicing in this area, the more knowledgeable and skilled they’re likely to be. Having a knowledgeable and skilled divorce lawyer will increase your chances of getting impeccable services.
Inquire about the number of years they have been practicing this area of law and whether they have handled divorce cases similar to yours. Find out what the outcomes of those cases were and whether they have a solid divorce case experience. If they have local experience, even better, because they’ll be familiar with the local courts and judges.
2. Openness to Various Conflict Resolution Methods
There are several methods you can use to resolve your divorce or separation case. It’s usually a good idea to find a divorce lawyer who is willing to try different resolution methods instead of settling for a court trial from the word “go”. You’ll find a huge number of lawyers who love the thrill of going to court, and most of them will not suggest anything else.
Depending on your case and how willing and cooperative your spouse is, it’s a good idea to try to resolve matters between the two of you. Instead of going to court, you can also opt for other resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration.
The thing about divorce cases is that they can be very sensitive and intimate. The last thing you want is for your private and personal details to get out in public because it could affect both you and your children if you have any. A trial should be your last resort if you absolutely cannot resolve your conflict through other methods.
3. Attention to Clients and Personality
During your interview process, it’s important for you to gauge the personality of the divorce lawyers, as well as their attention to clients. How were you treated when you got to the firm? This is a good way to tell whether you’re comfortable with the lawyer and whether you’ll be able to get along with them in the coming weeks or months.
Gauge their listening skills as you give them your story and check how much attention they give to you. If they’re distracted, then chances are, they won’t dedicate adequate attention to your case.
Do they give you different options to resolve your situation? Are there any interruptions during your consultation and do they have a huge caseload? Do they respond to calls and give feedback in a timely manner?
These are some of the factors you must consider when selecting a divorce lawyer.
4. Consider the Costs Involved
When selecting a divorce lawyer, comparing lawyer fees is an integral part of the process. Regardless of how you look at it, divorce can be quite expensive. There are many associated costs that come with maintaining child support, alimony, dual households, and not to mention, legal fees and other expenses.
That said, it would be unwise for you to choose a lawyer based on cost alone. While this should be a factor, it should not be a determining factor because getting a cheap lawyer can cost you a lot in the long run. Typically, the more effective, experienced, and well-trained a lawyer is, the higher their fees are likely to be.
This does not necessarily mean that you should get the most expensive lawyer in your area. However, you should go for quality work and advice that won’t cost you legal mistakes like when attempting to pinch pennies.
5. Accuracy and Honesty
If a divorce lawyer is determined to guarantee an outcome or only tells you what you want to hear, they may not be the best option. There are many options for lawyers, so don’t settle for someone who cannot be honest with you. An experienced divorce lawyer will evaluate your case accurately and give you the best and worst-case scenarios for your case.
It’s imperative for you to meet and interview several divorce attorneys. Request an assessment of your case from all of them and determine which one is being unrealistic and which one is most likely giving you the best advice.
6. Consider Their Reputation
When selecting the right divorce lawyer, one of the most important things you should consider is their reputation. Ask lawyers in other specialties to recommend a reputable divorce lawyer for you or run a background check on the ones you find. The internet has become a great place to conduct an investigation like this.
Check their online website to see references and reviews from past clients. Call some of these references and inquire how successful their cases were and whether they would recommend the lawyer. Go through the testimonials and check them on other review websites online.
Know Everything About Selecting a Divorce Lawyer
There is so much that goes into selecting a divorce lawyer. Find a professional with experience, a good reputation, and availability to give your case top priority. Divorce can be an intimidating process, and you need to have someone who will guide you, offer you advice, and have your best interests in mind.
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