Wondering if you’re choosing the right lawyer is a common question that comes up when you’re going through a divorce or family law case. And while it’s a common question when going through a divorce, it’s not always easy to answer. Here’s some guidance that should help you find your answer:
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Research Helps You Know If You’re Choosing the Right Lawyer
There are many websites now that review lawyers and those are a good start. If you research your attorney online and see a series of reviews about the attorney, are they predominantly good? Other people’s review of the attorney you are seeking to hire can be a good place to start.
Does the Attorney Concentrate in Family Law?
I’d also want to know that this attorney only concentrated in family law. Is the attorney you are seeking to hire also doing real estate closings? Bankruptcy law? Personal injury? I have a hard time believing that you can do all of these areas of law well. I could be wrong, but it would take a lot to convince me.
The area of family law encompasses not only divorce but the division of assets and liabilities, real estate, pension divisions, etc. This area of law is not a small division of law, but actually fairly large. If you have a business, you’ll want to know if your attorney has ever handled this issue before. You’ll want to talk about some aspects of your business to see if the lawyer understands profit and loss statements, partnership and shareholder agreements, Buy-Sell Agreements, etc. When you talk “business” with your lawyer, do you feel like she understands the issues you have?
Meet the Divorce Lawyer in Person Before Hiring
A face to face meeting with the lawyer you’d like to hire can help you decide if this is the attorney for you. Some attorneys are better writers and not litigators. Some will be too aggressive if you are seeking an uncontested divorce.
What exactly are you looking for?
Give some thought to what type of lawyer you’re really looking for. Do you want an aggressive attorney and realize when you sit with her that she seems kind of shy? It might not be the right fit for you. Having an idea about what you want can help you pick the right attorney too.
Communicate Your Needs
Be honest with the attorney you meet with regarding the needs you have in the case. If you have a custody dispute, you should be able to tell if the attorney is equipped to handle that type of fight. Or if the attorney has ideas on how you can best accomplish your goal.
A lot of your decision will be based on how well you believe you can talk to this attorney and if they are approachable. It doesn’t matter if you hire the best attorney there is if you can never reach them. Discuss what you need and make sure that the attorney you are hiring can meet that need.
Feel Comfortable Communicating
It is important to feel comfortable with the divorce attorney that you hire and to have a good rapport with easy communication. Going through a divorce is a personal thing and you will share personal and private details throughout the process. Your attorney should make you feel more at ease when discussing your case, if they do not that is probably not the right attorney for you.
Understand the Attorney’s Billing Practices
Hiring a lawyer is an investment. Be sure to discuss the attorney’s billing practices and policies before you decide to choose a lawyer to represent you. Don’t get caught by surprise and not be able to keep your divorce lawyer mid-way through the process due to financial reasons. Understand the billing practices before hiring your attorney and know what the fees include.
- Will you be charged for every phone call?
- Will you be charged to communicate by email?
- Does the attorney require a retainer?
Understanding the billing practices from your attorney will prevent disputes later. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Choose the Right Lawyer for You
You are going to have a lot of questions when you decide to seek a divorce or pursue a family law case. Learn as much as you can, but take your advice from someone who is experienced in this area of law. Discuss your case with a highly-regarded, experienced lawyer who does divorce and family law for a living. Many facets of your life will change, but choosing the right divorce attorney to look out for your interests, allows you to move forward with confidence.