Divorces are stressful enough without having to worry about what you need to know to find the right divorce attorney for you. Good divorce lawyers share the following secrets to help you choose the appropriate legal representation:
- An attorney who focuses full-time on handling family law cases is more likely to have the qualifications, knowledge, and experience you need to reach your most favorable resolution. Not all lawyers practice or even understand family and divorce law. Family law should compose the significant portion of the practice of the lawyer you hire to handle your divorce. Ideally, the lawyer you choose should practice only divorce and family law.
- Your attorney should have experience in your specific jurisdiction— both in your courthouse and in front of your judge. Having this local experience ensures that your lawyer is familiar with the decision makers and how they make their rulings daily.
- Not all divorce lawyers have the qualifications to represent you in all possible divorce options. Today’s divorce and family law have evolved to include numerous mediated and collaborative divorce cases. The attorney you are considering hiring does should have experience in all the areas, or you may be substantially limiting your options.
- Even knowledgeable lawyers can be terrible at case management. Attorneys study theoretical law in law school but not case management. They may leave law school without any experience in case management, relationship management, or
business management and may not know how to run a law practice effectively.
- Inexperienced lawyers may litigate the majority of your case without knowing what it’s worth. During your initial consultation, your lawyer should talk to you about how to build a map to the resolution of your divorce case. Understanding the “big picture” value of your case and how your assets and debts should be distributed in a fair settlement is critical to the divorce process. Many attorneys are unprepared in this area. They may not realize until they get close to resolution what the best settlement agreement should look like.
- Your attorney should counsel you with the knowledge and oversight to help you choose your battles. Lower legal fees and less expenditure of emotional energy can come from picking your battles wisely and having realistic expectations for the final outcome of your divorce. When lawyers who allow their clients to argue and spend time and money about matters that the attorney should know are pointless, it can affect the overall scheme of the case. Some attorneys may take the position that it is your case, and you should make the decisions, but that may not be competent counsel.
It may go without saying, but the lawyer you choose should be committed to creating the most favorable outcome for you as possible—and get it resolved as quickly as possible as well. The
sooner your divorce is finalized, the sooner you can start anew. If you have questions or need further information, contact a divorce attorney in your local area and schedule a consultation.