Divorce proceedings are a complex subject and the battle between the soon-to-be exes can get murky and complicated. This is the main reason why hiring an experienced divorce attorney is crucial for those who want to get legally separated.
In some cases, people can feel overwhelmed and perplexed simply because they don’t know how to look for a good attorney. They’re already stressed from wanting to end their marriage, and the last thing they need is further anxiety emanating from their search for a helpful divorce lawyer.
However, help is here. Mentioned ahead are a few factors to consider when hiring a divorce attorney.
1) The Lawyer Should be Focused and Supportive
You should choose a lawyer who takes a keen interest in your situation and actively supports your cause. If your attorney makes you feel like your matter isn’t as important to him/her as other clients’ cases, then he/she is wrong for you.
Your attorney will, most likely, work with a team of paralegals, junior lawyers, and administrative staff. This team plays an important role in the divorce proceedings as well. He/she should be willing to introduce you to all his team members who will actively work on your case.
2) The Lawyer Should Have Solid References
Any lawyer of good repute in the business will have lots of success stories backing him/her up. Feel free to ask him/her about the cases he/she has handled successfully in the past. A good honest lawyer has nothing to hide.
You can also ask your potential lawyer if he/she has dealt with cases that required expertise in matters related to child custody and maintenance, and asset division. Inquire about the number of cases he/she has won against the total number of cases handled. Find out his/her negotiation tactics and experiences with juries and judges. If your case does go to court, you want a lawyer who is confident, adept and competent in fighting for your cause.
A great way to decide on a divorce lawyer is to ask his/her former clients for feedback about his/her handling of their cases. If you don’t already know any of his/her ex-clients, simply ask for a list of clients that you can contact. Your state’s bar association can also be of help to find out about any complaints filed against the attorney you’re considering.
3) The Lawyer Should be Conversant in Family and Divorce Law
Find out the number of years of experience your potential attorney has in handling divorce cases. Consider whether or not he/she has dealt with other areas of family and divorce laws. Having skills related to mediation and setting out of court will be advantageous too.
Most divorce cases entail matters pertaining to child custody and child support. It is, therefore, best to pick a lawyer who is highly experienced in all these areas as he/she will know exactly how such matters are to be tackled.
Your lawyers work experience is important when it comes to establishing his/her familiarity with judges and the understanding of their mindset. This quality will surely work to your advantage throughout the case.
4) The Lawyer Should be a Thorough Professional
When you’re in the process of choosing a lawyer, remember that who you pick eventually may represent you in court. It is, therefore, important that he/she is equipped with the best strategies to guide you through the legal maze. It is necessary that he/she represents you ethically and looks after your best interests.
Steer clear of attorneys who charge lower-than-average fees, make tall and exaggerated promises, or guarantee you a win in the first meeting itself. Your matter will be subject to different legal procedures and timelines, and no lawyer can guarantee the result in any matter. Choose an attorney who is realistic, honest and skilled enough to fight for your cause. Only this kind of a lawyer will have your best interest at heart.
5) The Lawyer Should Mention His Fees Clearly
The lawyer you choose should clearly mention his fees in terms of hourly rate, retainer amount, and the billing and payment procedures. He/she should be able to give you all these details in black and white, and even explain them to you if needed.
However, because several new/unforeseen factors need to be taken into consideration throughout the course of the case, no attorney will be able to calculate the final amount of his/her fee for any case. So, do keep this in mind.
6) The Lawyer Should be an Effective Communicator
One of the most common reasons why divorce attorneys lose clients is because they’re unable to communicate properly. This means there should be no communication barriers between you and your lawyer.
It is crucial that your divorce attorney is readily accessible to you, and responds to your calls, emails, and texts promptly.
Further, he/she should also be able to accommodate your requests for meetings in his/her schedule. It, therefore, makes sense to pick the most competent lawyer within your vicinity. If you reside in Oak Brook, Illinois, look for an experienced divorce lawyer in Oak Brook itself rather than one in another neighborhood.
7) The Lawyer Should Make You Feel Comfortable
You should feel comfortable in the presence of the attorney you choose to hand your case to. During your interactions, you need to feel understood to be confident of his/her abilities.
It is important that you feel adequately “heard” and that your attorney expresses genuine concern about your case. Only such an attorney will be willing to make the required amount of time for you through your divorce.
You may need to meet the potential attorney more than once to ascertain whether or not he/she is the right choice for your case and circumstances. Whatever you do, do not pick a lawyer in haste as that can result in the waste of time, money and effort. Remember, your case is too important to be handed over to someone whose ability you aren’t sure of.
It is important to choose the right divorce attorney if you’re serious about finding solutions and achieving a mutually acceptable result after the divorce proceedings. This requires time and effort, but once you find a divorce lawyer who you can open up to confidently, you will realize that it was worth it. Keep the above tips in mind in your search for a suitable attorney and you won’t go wrong.