In order to choose the right divorce attorney for your situation, it is important to first be clear about your goals. For example, if your financial situation is not very complicated and your divorce is reasonably amicable, you may be able to do a collaborative or mediated divorce. On the other hand, you may be concerned that your spouse is trying to hide assets or might take your children to another country. You need a different type of attorney for different situations.
Once you have the type of attorney that you need and your goals for the divorce in mind, start asking around about recommendations. Friends and colleagues may have suggestions.
Some experts say that at least three attorneys should be initially identified. These attorneys should be interviewed for traits such as likeability and a strong support staff. Feeling at ease with the attorney and those who work in the office is critical because this is such an emotional time.
There are other factors that should be considered too. Cost is an issue. People who are hoping to keep expenses down and who want the divorce to go as quickly as possible should be wary of attorneys who promise to fight every step of the way. Unnecessary litigation can make a divorce expensive and lengthy. On the other hand, people sometimes relinquish claims on important assets or rights more easily than they should because they feel guilty about the divorce and want it over with quickly. A good attorney can help guide clients toward the right decisions for their situation.
Even if the attorney seems likeable, competent and reasonably priced, if they do not have the needed experience, it may be time to look elsewhere. For example, a friend who had a simple divorce may recommend an attorney who is not going to be as useful in a high-asset divorce.
If children are involved, this may lead to special considerations. Most parents want to focus on making the process as easy for the children as possible. Usually, this means trying to keep the divorce amicable and efficient. However, in some cases, one parent may be trying to block the other parent’s visitation rights. There may be issues with child support or even domestic abuse. An attorney should be prepared to keep the child’s best interests in mind as the divorce process moves forward.
People should also remember that if they make the wrong choice, they are not stuck with that attorney. It is generally less costly to fire the wrong attorney and hire a new one than to be stuck with the consequences of an attorney who is a poor fit.
Divorce is an emotionally trying time, and choosing an attorney on top of everything can seem overwhelming. However, with a clear assessment of what is needed from this professional, people who are divorcing can move forward with confidence in their choice of attorney.