Steps to Choosing the Right Divorce LawyerSeptember 18, 2018
Whether you’re only thinking about divorce or ready to move forward, one of your first steps should be a meeting with a qualified family law attorney.
Understandably, there’s a certain level of fear and uncertainty at this time in your life, especially related to finances and parenting rights. The initial consultation with a lawyer is a chance to get to know each other. You will likely share something about yourself and the reasons for a divorce.
It’s also the time to learn about the divorce process and have your basic questions answered. Ultimately, you’ll want to have a better understanding of the divorce “rules of the road” as well as your lawyer’s overall strategy to resolve the case.
Even if you’ve read your attorney’s bio, you should ask about her or his experience handling cases similar to yours, the length of time it will take to finalize the divorce, and the probable outcome. Sometimes the answers can be difficult to hear, but a good attorney will be honest and forthright.
Be sure to ask how the two of you will communicate. Are phone calls or emails best? Include a discussion about issues of privacy and confidentiality. Who at the firm is your primary contact and how quickly should you anticipate a response? Be sure to clarify your preferences. Good communication is essential for a satisfactory experience.
Finally, there’s the cost. Family lawyers typically charge a retainer fee, then bill at an hourly rate. Wise couples who are divorcing will quickly realize that the sooner they can resolve their differences, the more economical their divorce will be and the sooner they can move on with their lives. That said, a fight may be inevitable, so choose a lawyer who you feel can make war or peace.