How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer
Proceeding with a divorce can be a difficult time in anyone’s life. That’s why it’s important to have the right attorney on your side. At Hawkins Law, we believe in understanding the needs and circumstances of every client. No two divorce cases are alike, and having an attorney who understands how to adapt to your needs is critical.
If you’re proceeding with a divorce, you should look for representation that can offer the legal services you need for your unique circumstances. Because of this, it’s important to know what to look for when seeking out a divorce lawyer. Let’s go over some of the basic tenets to consider when you’re trying to figure out how to choose a divorce lawyer.
Understand the Type of Divorce Lawyer You Need and What Their Role Will Be
Because not all divorces are alike, the way a divorce plays out will differ from one case to another. If you’re moving forward with an amicable divorce, then simple processes which include mediation may be the route to go.
On the other hand, if you’re going through a complicated divorce where conflict will likely arise, you’ll need a lawyer who will stand up for your rights and not waver under pressure. Seeking out a lawyer who is known to be aggressive can work in your best interest in cases like this.
Experience Is Important
You’re not only going to want to look for a divorce attorney who has experience navigating divorces, but you want to take a look at the type of divorces they’ve worked on. Every divorce is unique in its own way and some divorces prove more difficult or complicated than others.
When you’re searching for a divorce attorney, look for someone who has experience dealing with the specific circumstances you’re facing on your own. Be sure to ask specific questions that pertain to your unique circumstances and the challenges you expect to face during the process.
Be Realistic In Your Expectations
Divorce can be an intensely emotional and complex procedure, especially if it comes after years of marriage, involves children, and deals with a variety of assets or debts. It’s important to keep in mind that as you go through the process, your divorce lawyer is there to serve as your legal support and counsel you on how the legal issues in your divorce may impact your life.
Be prepared for difficult conversations with your lawyer that may challenge your expectations or your emotions. When you’re seeking out a divorce lawyer, it’s best to seek one who can help pull you back on track if you start to unravel emotionally.
A great way to assess whether your lawyer is up for the job is by reading reviews of past clients who have had emotionally charged divorces. Knowing that you’re working with a lawyer who understands your emotions but doesn’t operate from a place of emotions can sometimes prove invaluable to some clients.
Understand Your Budget
Just as the services the right lawyer can provide differ from firm to firm, so too does the cost of services they can provide. As a general rule, just because a lawyer is expensive doesn’t mean they’re the best for you.
While it might seem like the most important factor is determining who the best lawyer near you is, the reality is, that factor comes second. Cost aside, the first factor you should consider is what are your needs and the type of lawyer you need fighting for your case.
Understanding and allocating a budget is important. Once you have a budget in place, you can narrow down the best lawyers that meet your needs within that budget.
Research, Research, Research
In today’s digital age, there’s no excuse not to find the right lawyer for your needs. Researching law firms in your area is easier than ever. During your research process, it’s important to see what past clients have felt about their experience with whichever law firm you’re looking at.
Once you have an understanding of client testimonials, you can then dig deeper into law firms based on this new knowledge. This systematic research will allow you to pick the best lawyer to meet your needs.
Local Lawyers are Best
As you do your research, it’s best to stick with lawyers who practice in the jurisdiction you live in. Local lawyers have an understanding of how the court system operates in your jurisdiction, including local rules that vary from court to court. This will give you the best chance at having a successful outcome as your lawyer will already know how to navigate the field.
Remember, when you’re seeking out a lawyer to defend your rights, you’re essentially going to be interviewing different candidates to represent you. As part of this interview process, you’re going to want to prepare some critical questions.
Asking important questions will allow you to gauge the type of service you can expect. It will also give you some insight into how the law firm operates, how they will meet your needs, and their overall experience level. Some questions to consider include the following:
- What does your client success rate look like and why do you think it is this way?
- What is your communication process like with your clients?
- What is the best way to get in contact with you and how quickly do you respond back on average?
- Will other attorneys handle my case or is it just you?
- What types of fees can I expect if I work with you?
- Guarantees or promises of success in your case
- Answers to your questions that are vague, unclear, and difficult to understand
- An inability to discuss in detail (to a certain extent) what you can expect out of your case
- A sense of urgency, or a hurriedness during your initial consultation
Beware of Guarantees
It’s important to always do your due diligence when you are searching for the right lawyer to represent you. As part of your due diligence, you need to make sure that you are paying attention to any red flags that may pop up. Some examples of red flags include the following:
Seeking Out a Divorce Lawyer Who Will Fight for You
Divorce can be such a contentious time. Unfortunately, many couples who are considering separation tend to make hasty decisions in the heat of the moment. When it comes to choosing a divorce lawyer who will fight for your rights, the choice should not be one done in haste.