10 Steps of Divorce
Part 3 How to find the right lawyer for you
Divorce can be time consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining. While no divorce can justifiably be considered a good experience, not all divorces are the same. Choosing the right lawyer can make the difference between a smooth transition and an awful experience. In this article we are going to discuss things you should do before hiring a lawyer to represent you in your divorce.
- Do the Research
- Ask for Referrals
- Interview Questions to Ask
- Don't Rely on Google Alone
Do the Research
Like any other profession, there are people that will fit your needs and others that are just not right for you. Before you begin the process of divorce it helps if you have an understanding of your needs. For example, if you are going into a divorce and know you are going to be filing for custody and/or support it's important that you find a lawyer that can handle all of your needs.
Ask for Referrals
With any product or service we often turn to our friends and family for their advice and divorce is no different. When looking for a divorce attorney think about the people in your life that you know that have been divorced and ask them about their experiences with their attorney and get some recommendations.
Interview Questions to Ask
When going through the process of finding the right lawyer you should be open to the idea of talking to/interviewing lawyers until you find the right one for you. The reality of the situation, however, is that most lawyers require a consultation fee before they will discuss your case with you. If you decide to go through the process of interviewing lawyers not only to find the most qualified candidate but to find one that is right for you then there are certain things you should look for. Here is a list of questions that will help you narrow down your search:
- What kind of law do you practice?
- How long have you been actively practicing law?
- What is your retainer amount?
- What are your hourly/billing rates?
- Based on the needs that you can present, what is an estimated range of costs to complete your divorce (barring unexpected circumstances)?
- After explaining the facts of the case, ask for a realistic expectation of the outcome especially if you are petitioning the court to make any rulings.
- If your spouse has a lawyer, ask if they have worked with the opposing counsel.
- Do they have trial experience, are they willing to go to trial?
- How long will the process take?
- What obligations do you have during your divorce?
- Who will specifically be handling your case?
- What are the first steps to working with them with regards to where your case stands?
Don't Rely on Google Alone
It is really easy to go to any search engine and type in lawyer near me, click on the first person that comes up and find your lawyer but all that really means is that lawyer is either very popular, has provided excellent service to others, or has paid a lot of money for advertising to be the first one that you see. Without doing your due diligence of research, asking the right questions, and interviewing potential lawyers there's no way to know going into a divorce whether you have found the right lawyer for you and your case.
I understand that these are only a few answers and that every situation is different so an answer for one person might not apply at all to someone else. If you have any more questions regarding the divorce process, your order, or if you feel your order is being violated make sure to contact your lawyer. If you do not have any current representation and have additional questions please feel free to reach out to me and I will do my best to find you the answer.
Jerkins Law, PLLC