The United States has the sixth highest divorce rate in the world. Often, divorces are emotionally and financially draining. This, coupled with the fact that most divorce proceedings go on for a long time, makes going through a divorce difficult.
One of the things that complicate divorces is their legal implications. If you select divorce lawyers, they can help you navigate the complex legalities in divorce proceedings.
But, there are a lot of divorce lawyers to pick from, and narrowing down your choices to find the best one can be overwhelming. Every attorney has unique skills, philosophy, and approach to divorce. You need a lawyer to support you during the arduous process and cater to your specific needs.
This article offers everything you need to know about selecting divorce lawyers.
Understand the Type of Divorce You Want
People getting divorced do not stop to think about which divorce procedure they want to use. But, knowing the type of divorce you want is vital when choosing a divorce attorney. Standard divorce procedures include:
Mediation is a procedure where a neutral third party helps you settle your divorce. The party, known as a mediator, meets you and your spouse and enables you to come up with an agreement on your case. If possible, hire a divorce attorney as a mediator, as they protect your legal interests through the mediation procedures.
During a collaborative divorce, you, your spouse, and your attorneys agree to amicable negotiations. Instead of a courtroom, you all carry out negotiations in a courtroom. Afterward, your attorneys present the final decree to the judge for approval.
Litigation is the traditional divorce process where you, your spouse, and your attorneys figure out your divorce in court. In this case, you need an attorney with courtroom experience to represent you.
Once you research the different divorce approaches, choose one that works best for you. Then, ask friends, family, and colleagues to recommend attorneys who can take your case. If you have friends who are lawyers, they may know a couple of divorce attorneys.
Talking with friends and family is the best way to find a lawyer since you get firsthand accounts of their divorce case experiences. Remember to ask about the attorney they were up against.
Select Local Attorneys
After you get recommendations, narrow down your list to local divorce lawyers. Working with a local lawyer is helpful because they understand the local family laws.
Also, a local attorney is familiar with the judges and legal officials. So, they know which approach will get you a favorable outcome with different legal officials and judges.
Research Potential Candidates
Before reaching out to potential divorce attorneys, do background research. The American Bar Association is a great source of information on attorneys.
Check an attorney’s specialization and training at your local Bar Association website. Divorce attorneys should specialize in family law.
Check if your divorce attorney has had disciplinary cases brought against them at the Bar Association. Be wary of a lawyer with disciplinary allegations.
Interview Prospective Attorneys
Researching potential candidates should help you narrow down your list of attorneys. Next, you need to schedule in-person consultations with each candidate. Interviewing attorneys helps you know how they will handle your case.
Prepare a list of questions to ask candidates during interviews. Some questions to ask during interviews include:
• How long have you practiced family law?
• What will be your strategy in handling my case?
• How long do you take to respond to inquiries?
• Who else will work on my divorce case?
• How much will you charge me?
Asking the above questions will help you get enough information to make an informed decision.
Consider Your Budget
Attorney fees can be costly. So, it is vital to have a budget before you start talking to prospective divorce lawyers. Note that going cheap on a divorce attorney does not always work out well, as you may end up losing valuable assets.
Remember, the outcome of your divorce case may affect you for the rest of your life. Thus, you must consider the legal help you need and the long-term value of those services.
If there is much conflict between you and your spouse, you will need an attorney to help you iron out many issues. This may cost you more.
Comparing lawyer fees can help you come up with an average of what to expect to pay for your divorce. Most attorneys charge an hourly rate. Still, some charge a flat fee.
Look for an attorney within your budget. Then inform your attorney of your financial constraints to create a flexible payment plan for you.
When discussing payments with your attorney, you and your spouse must agree on who will be paying bills during the divorce.
Select a Divorce Lawyer You Feel Comfortable With
You and your spouse will reveal many personal details during the divorce proceedings. Thus, you want to have an attorney you can trust.
A bit of digging will help you know an attorney’s reputation. Afterward, you need to listen to your gut.
If you feel something is off when talking to a lawyer, move on to the next candidate. If an attorney trivializes your concerns, they will not represent your interests well.
How a lawyer speaks to you also determines whether they are the best fit. If your divorce lawyer is not straightforward when responding to your questions, it will be hard to trust them.
A reliable attorney is not distracted by other calls during your meetings. You want a lawyer who pays attention and avails themselves to answer your questions.
You Now Know How to Select Divorce Lawyers
Selecting divorce lawyers is your first and most important decision when filing for divorce. You should select divorce lawyers who have vast experience in this area. The ones you believe can assist in resolving your divorce case as soon and amicably as possible.
All the tips above should help you make the right choice.
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