Hiring a divorce attorney is a stressful process. With so many things to consider and options to choose from, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed during this already difficult time.
Nobody purposely gets married just for it to end in divorce. If you’re like most couples, you genuinely do marry for love, but it does take work, and both people in the marriage have to want to put in the work in order for the marriage to last.
Photo credit: Cottonbro
Obviously, things don’t always work out in favour of marriage. In fact, studies have shown that in the past 10 years, the number of US adults living without a spouse or partner has risen 42%.
The reasons vary as to why divorce rates have climbed but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and hiring the right divorce attorney will help you reach that light to finding happiness again.
By following the simple checklist outlined below, you can find an attorney that will help you accomplish your goals, fit your budget, and help you win the case.
Since this article focuses on US legal help, if you’re looking for Canadian or Toronto Divorce Lawyers, be sure to specifically search out the right one for your area.
Determine Your Needs and Goals
Every divorce is different. Understanding your needs and goals for your divorce is essential to consider before you begin researching and hiring legal counsel. Take the time to think through what matters for your case.
What’s important to you?
Consider your specific circumstances and make a list of issues important to you. Do you have kids? Is domestic violence an issue? How will your property and belongings be divided?
If there are major issues vital to your case, you need a lawyer with specialized training and enhanced knowledge. Don’t settle for someone that is inexperienced if you want to ensure you will win custody or get your fair share.
By determining your values, you will be able to significantly narrow down the type of lawyer you will need for your divorce.
What’s your level of involvement?
All lawyers operate differently when it comes to divorce filings. They may choose to take control to better guarantee success or they may prefer to help in the background with advice and assistance. Either way, you must consider what type of lawyer you want for your case.
Whether or not you want to be majorly involved will assist you in determining the type of personality and style of work you should look for in an attorney.
What are you willing to pay?
Obviously, your financial situation can play a big part in deciding what type of lawyer to hire. Outline a potential budget for yourself before researching specific firms to ensure you do not spend more money than you are willing or have.
Research Potential Lawyers and Firms
Now that you have a clear understanding of what you want in a lawyer, begin analyzing different attorneys and firms to find your ideal divorce lawyer.
Research lawyers in your area. Determine their specialities, skill level, and prices to see whether or not they would be a good match for you
In addition, consider asking friends or family what divorce lawyers or family law firms they have utilized in the past. Getting advice from others can be very helpful in selecting the perfect one for you.
After evaluating a sufficient amount of lawyers, make a small list that contains your top choices. Consider starting with a list of 3 to make the process simpler for yourself.
Schedule a Consult with Your Top Choices
Contact your list of top choices and schedule an initial visit, interview, or consult with them. This meeting will be vital in your decision-making process, so make sure you come fully prepared. By creating a list of questions that align with your wants, needs, and goals, you can measure whether or not the potential lawyer will suit your needs.
Possible questions you can ask the lawyers you interview include:
- Tell me about yourself
- What is your track record with divorce cases?
- How does the divorce process work?
- How do you believe you would handle my case?
- What is your estimated price for my case?
- What is the average time table for a divorce like mine?
- What legal advice do you give your clients?
- What would be our next steps?
Don’t be afraid to ask the hard and necessary questions. Divorce can end in a lot of ways, and you want to make sure you have the best possible option backing you.
Begin this process as soon as you can, so you can find a lawyer who will start your case on time and in the right direction. Some people even consider online divorces.
Once you have evaluated your needs, completed your research, and vetted your potential options, hire the lawyer you believe will work the best for you.
Finding the right lawyer could be the difference between winning and losing your case. This is an important decision that shouldn’t be rushed. Take your time to consider your options before making a final decision to ensure you hire the ideal divorce lawyer.