How to Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer for You and Your Needs?
Among the most important decisions you’ll make in your divorce case – which is itself likely to be one of the most challenging times of your life – is who you want in your corner as you navigate the most difficult decisions. With so many lawyers to choose from, it can be difficult to know whether you’re hiring the right lawyer for you and your goals. With that in mind, you must keep certain considerations in mind when choosing the attorney you want for your divorce case.
Have You Done Your Research?
There are many ways to research potential divorce lawyers. You may turn to Yelp, Google, or Facebook to look up reviews from previous clients. There are also websites like Super Lawyers which provide information on peer-reviewed lawyers.
It may also be worth reaching out to friends and family members who’ve gone through a divorce before. This can be a difficult topic, but first-hand accounts are an excellent way to get useful information.
Be wary of attorney advertisements. Ads might drive business, but they do not always indicate a good law firm.
Have You Spoken to More Than One Lawyer?
The first lawyer you speak to might suit you and your needs most, but don’t stop there. It’s vital that you speak with multiple lawyers to learn if you’re really choosing the right one. Are they a good asset protection lawyer? Are they good at mediation? Do your due diligence.
Does Your Lawyer Need to Share Your Gender?
Don’t assume that you need a man as your attorney just because you’re a man. Similarly, women shouldn’t be restricted to only women as their divorce attorneys. Your lawyer’s gender is likely to have little to no impact on the outcome of your case. Finding a divorce lawyer with experience who fits your budget is much more important than their gender.
What Kind of Attorney Can You Afford?
If you don’t have the money required to retain your lawyer’s legal services, they may have no other choice but to opt out of their agreement and quit on you. Do not hire a lawyer whose legal fees far exceed the budget you’ve set aside for a divorce lawyer.
While your initial budget should consider the legal fees of getting to the divorce settlement, some divorce cases are more complicated. If your divorce case is contested and goes to trial, you will need to find the money for that, too.
Keep in mind what you can and cannot afford.
Does a High Price Mean They’re a Better Attorney?
The common thinking is that the more expensive a lawyer is, the better they must be. This simply is not true. While the more experienced lawyers are likely to have higher legal fees than attorneys who just got out of school, you do not need to break the bank to hire a good attorney. Sometimes, the explanation for a high cost is that they spend a lot of money on advertising or they operate in a large market.
Are They Experienced in Family Law Legal Matters?
Not all lawyers are suitable for every legal challenge. You wouldn’t hire a criminal defense lawyer for your slip-and-fall injury. You shouldn’t hire a personal injury lawyer for your family law legal concerns either. If your search for a lawyer leads you to a lawyer who has never practiced a divorce case, keep looking.
Is the Lawyer Local?
You want a lawyer from your local jurisdiction. Laws can vary greatly from state to state and even on a more local level. Additionally, you want a lawyer who is accessible and can appear with relatively short notice.
What Should You Ask an Attorney in a Consultation?
If you’re doing your proper homework, you’ll likely have multiple consultations scheduled. Create a list of interview questions so that you’re prepared when sitting across from the attorney and their legal team.
Here are a few example questions to consider asking:
- Do you believe mediation would be a useful conflict resolution strategy?
- How do you approach child custody cases?
- How long do you expect my case to take before it is resolved?
- How long does it take for you to return phone calls? Can I reach you in an emergency?
- How long have you been practicing in family law? Do you specialize in divorce cases?
- Is there a retainer up front?
- What is your hourly rate? How will I be charged? Will I be charged for speaking to your paralegals?
- What is your strategy for my divorce case?
- What other expenses do you expect to be necessary for my case?
- Will anyone else in the law firm be working on my case? What is their experience?
- Will I be allowed to negotiate directly with my soon-to-be ex-spouse?
- And how much do you expect this divorce to cost me, all told?
Schedule Your In-Depth Case Evaluation Today
No law firm can promise that they are the right firm for you and your case. That said, the Law Office of Patrick O’Kennedy has extensive experience in difficult divorce cases, and we would proudly represent your interests as your legal representatives.
Remember, you do not have to go through a divorce case on your own. Help is available. You need only get in touch with our law firm to schedule your consultation with our legal team. Please call us today at (714) 701-6356.