Getting a divorce is seriously stressful. When the going gets tough, you need an advocate to guide you and protect your interests. With your emotions on tilt, you need help with decision-making that will affect the rest of your life. You need to find a good divorce lawyer.
Do you already have a divorce attorney? Even if he’s not an experienced divorce lawyer, he can likely recommend one. What about friends or co-workers who went through the process of divorce? Were they satisfied with their divorce lawyer?
If you fail to get the names of good divorce lawyers, try the local bar association. Just remember, divorces can get complicated, so it’s critical to choose a lawyer who is experienced in divorce law.
Interviewing Divorce Lawyers
When you get the names of 3-4 divorce lawyers, call each of them to set up a free consultation. When you are interviewing potential lawyers, ask pertinent questions as if they are applying for a job opening at your firm. Just as you expect your divorce lawyer to respect you, respect their time.
Remember, you’re not chatting over a cup of coffee. Listen to what he proposes to do for you and answer his questions honestly. Then, briefly tell your story, such as you have three children, and the husband wants custody. Next, ask any questions the attorney didn’t cover.
Here are a few sample questions:
• Is divorce law your specialty, or will another lawyer in your firm handle my case? If so, may I meet him/her today?
• How many years experience do you have handling divorce cases?
• Can you get me the best settlement regardless of the impediments?
• How much do you charge for your services? Do you ask for a retainer upfront? May I get a breakdown of your pricing?
• How may I reach you in the event of an emergency?
Things to Think About
While interviewing your prospective divorce lawyer, did you get a comfortable feeling? For instance, does he speak in layman’s language or use highfalutin legal terms? Does he appear compassionate? Did he have the patience to explain everything you needed to know?
If he promises the moon and guarantees you a win, leave and don’t look back. There is no definitive answer to a divorce’s outcome until the judge reaches a final decision.
You may not know that after you’ve chosen a divorce lawyer, you can change lawyers if you’re unhappy. You will, however, be responsible for legal fees on services already rendered.