Breakdown of a relationship is an excruciating and long-drawn process for anyone unfortunate enough to go through it. The support of friends and family is vital to keep the divorcee’s emotional health intact. The services of an experienced family and divorce lawyer are necessary to keep the legal side of things as straightforward as possible.
Having a good lawyer beside you is always pertinent whether you choose to contest or want to part ways by mutual consent. However, finding a good lawyer is a challenging task in itself. While looking for a family lawyer, it is imperative not to take shortcuts. Instead of dialling the first number you see in a directory or the ad you encounter on the internet, check and double-check for the lawyer’s credentials, reputation and track record before making your choice.
Further, here are some tips to help you find the attorney that’s the right fit for you.
First, you need to understand that divorce is a legal process with the sole purpose of resolving custody issues and dissolving your assets. Your lawyer’s job is to represent you to the best of their ability in the process, not to listen to your anger, frustration, sadness and pain. They are not your therapist or coach; instead, they are trained professionals to represent their client before the law. So be realistic about your lawyer’s role and what to expect from them.
Stay focused on your goals.
Your ultimate goal during the process should be to get divorced without any significant depreciation of your lifestyle. So, if you don’t want your divorce to get more protracted, more litigious, and more expensive, focus on getting divorced as quickly as possible that too with minor financial damage. Don’t let your feelings jump in and run rampant when it comes to negotiating over worldly things that don’t bother you much in the big picture.
Shortlist at least three lawyers
Of course, you can pick the first lawyer you found on the internet, but it would be great to find the best lawyer from all potential lawyers. You can take references from your friends or family if they know any good lawyer or browse through the internet to look for good attorneys in your city. Shortlist at least three lawyers who specialise in family law and one experienced in the specific type of divorce you think is best for you.
Interview and research
Some lawyers claim to have experience in family law but don’t have any references to back up their claims. Therefore, to ensure you hire the right one, you need to interview and research prospective lawyers. But how would you know they are credible or not? Ask them about previous family law experience. Ask them about what type of clients they typically represent. You can also ask them about their fees. Most family lawyers charge an hourly fee and require a retainer (a fee charged in advance). Further, look for the attorney’s trial record and history of success in court.
Don’t ignore red flags.
Your attorney is your guide to walk you through the legal system. If he lacks compassion or is inappropriately invested emotionally, he might not be the right choice for you. Here are a few things to look out for when choosing a family and divorce lawyer.
- Unresponsive to phone calls and emails
- Clueless about the specifics of your case
- Condescending attitude
- Excessive legal fees
Make your selection wisely.
Choose your legal partner who is professional, responsive, knowledgeable, approachable and communicates well. Look for someone you can trust and feel comfortable with. Divorce is an emotional and extremely personal process. Its outcome can significantly impact your future life, so make your choice carefully