Coping with a divorce is a difficult, emotional process, and the complicated forms and paperwork involved as you begin your divorce proceedings don’t make things any easier. During this challenging time, it’s important to find a lawyer that will not only guide you through the facts of your case but one that will also put you at ease. Working with a lawyer that isn’t right for you, whether it is because of their experience or their philosophy, can have a lasting detrimental impact.
But with everything going on in your life and all the information out there, it’s hard to know where to begin. While choosing a divorce lawyer is a personal decision that’s unique to you and your situation, here are some tips to help you start sorting everything out.
Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds, but starting a conversation with a variety of divorce lawyers is the only way to begin.
- Start searching with your local bar association or among friends.
- Ask for detailed recommendations, considering lawyers’ strengths, weaknesses, and areas of expertise.
Set Up Meetings
Once you determine some prospects for your divorce lawyer, meet with a few of your top options. Meeting in person will help you determine if your prospects’ personalities match what you’re looking for in a divorce lawyer.
Taking the first steps to set up meetings is important, but the preparation you undergo for these meetings is also essential. Think about concerns you have and your main objectives in your divorce case, including property rights, custody, visitation, and alimony/spousal maintenance. Consider asking the lawyers:
- How many years of experience do you have?
- What are your areas of practice? How many of your cases are divorce cases?
- Are you familiar with divorce proceedings in my state and county?
- How long will my divorce case take?
- How much will your services cost?
- How can I keep these costs down?
Evaluate Your Meetings
Take some time to think about your experiences after you’ve met with a few divorce lawyers. One essential factor is whether or not a lawyer made you feel comfortable in general.
- Did the lawyer answer your questions in a way that you could understand?
- Did they ask you appropriate and thoughtful questions about your case?
- Did their attitude toward your case match your own?
Hire Your Lawyer
After careful evaluation of your meetings, you’ll be ready to make a decision.
- Before you sign the agreements, carefully review the fees and fee structures.
- In addition to simply filling out the paperwork to get started, don’t forget to set some expectations for your case. Confirm that your lawyer knows what final outcomes are important to you.
- Finally, set up guidelines for communication, determining how often you will communicate with your lawyer and through what methods (phone, email, in person).
Finding a divorce lawyer and beginning your divorce proceedings can be an intimidating process, but in the end, finding the right lawyer for you will make a positive difference in your divorce case and in your life.