No one wants to go through a divorce but every year, many people do. This is a very upsetting thing to go through. Finding the right divorce attorney can make a big difference in your experience and the outcome of your case.
Set your expectations level to “realistic.” There are a lot of emotions that come out during the process of undoing a marriage. At the end of the day, the divorce process is done to decide custody of any children, divide the marital assets and handle any business issues. Your divorce attorney is there to help with these things. You will experience a wide range of emotions but the time to express them or to vent is not when you are meeting with the divorce lawyer. You may want to seek out help from a therapist or support group. You are not the only person to have gone through this. Talking about your problems with other people who have gone through this experience can help.
1. Talk to your friends and family. Given the number of people who get a divorce every year, the chances are very good that you know someone or you know someone who knows someone who has been through a divorce. ask them how they found their divorce attorneys and what they thought of working with them. You may not go with the same person but this can get you started on the right path towards finding the right divorce attorney. The best way to find quality goods and services is to get a personal recommendation so you should make the most of that.
2. Find a local lawyer. You will need to go with a divorce attorney who can practice law in the state where you live. State laws vary from state to state so that great divorce attorney who helped your cousin in Florida cannot help you with your divorce in Maryland. You really need a Maryland divorce attorney.
3. Use the free consultation. Most law firms allow a first consultation for free. Bring all of your questions and leave if you feel the divorce lawyers do not want to answer them. This is a normal part of the way they do business. Some questions you should ask:
- How long have you handled divorce cases?
- How much of your practice is devoted to divorce cases? You do not want a divorce attorney who is “phoning it in.” You want them to really want to help you get what you need.
- How much experience do you have with my kind of case? If you have children or are dissolving a joint business, the issues around your divorce may be more complicated. You need a divorce attorney with experience dealing with the issues that are specific to your case.
- How much experience do you have negotiating? The vast majority of the issues you are dealing with will have to be negotiated. The more you can do out of court, the better the situation will be for everyone involved.
- What is your experience in the courtroom? You never want to have to get your divorce into court but it does happen. You need a lawyer who has at least some experience in the courtroom.
- Who will be working on my case? Many law firms use paralegals and legal assistants to do a lot of the grunt work. You should get a chance to meet these people and know who you will talk to when you call with questions. You may not always get to talk to the main divorce attorney but you should get some access.
4. Talk to them about their fees. You want a good divorce attorney but you also need one that you can afford. Different law firms have different policies for their billing. Some expect a big sum up front but others will work with you on developing a payment plan that you can live with. There are a lot of law firms that can work with clients to make it possible to get the legal services they need.
Divorces are hard on everyone. If you do some research and are able to find the right divorce attorney, it will be easier.