Hiring a divorce lawyer is no flippant decision. You might have a lot of complicated things to sort out relating to your divorce, including children, assets and debts, so it’s important to hire a divorce lawyer who has the experience and knowledge to smoothly help you through this period of your life. Other important aspects to think about when choosing a divorce lawyer include their past clients’ reviews, fees and billing, as well as their communication style. Going through a divorce is a highly emotionally charged time, and choosing the best divorce lawyer you can afford will save you time and pain. Below, this article offers a list of what you should consider when choosing adivorce lawyer.
When you’re looking for a divorce lawyer, only choose one who has lots of experience in similar cases to yours in your local geographical area. They should know what to expect in terms of judges in your local area and how to play your cards to best advantage. Choose a divorce lawyer over any other kind of generic lawyer, as you need them to have experience in the area.
If you know someone well who has recently gone through a divorce with good representation, then by all means ask them who their divorce lawyer was. If your contact is a close friend or relative, they should be happy to help you with a recommendation. You can get the most honest recommendations from friends and family because they actually care about recommending you a gooddivorce lawyer if they can.
The testimonials past clients give about a certain divorce lawyer will speak volumes. Ask your potential attorney for a list of clients you can contact for testimonials. Don’t be afraid to ask these past clients the hard questions, such as what wasn’t ideal about theirdivorce lawyer and what could they have done better. These questions will reveal any weaknesses and are just as important as the questions that bring out their strengths as a divorce lawyer.
Lack of communication is a common complaint when it comes to clients who dislike their divorce lawyer. Before you settle on a lawyer, ask plenty of questions to determine their communication style and accessibility. Ask about their policy on responding to calls, emails and meeting requests – how many hours does it take them to answer? If they start talking in days or weeks, then you could be in trouble. Make sure you ask former clients about the lawyer’s communication style to get a truthful opinion.
Fees & Billing
When you book in for your initial appointment with a divorce lawyer, it’s important to ask about the cost. Some lawyers offer the first session for free and some will do it at low cost, while others might charge between $100-200 as a consultation fee, or an hourly rate. Important questions to ask your potential divorce lawyer include what is their hourly rate, what is the up-front retainer, and can the retainer be refunded if it is not used. Always sign a contract on fees and billing before working with a divorce lawyer so you know what you’re in for financially.