Doctors, dentists, stylists … you probably went through several before you found the “right” one for you. It’s no different when hiring a divorce attorney. It is important to find the divorce lawyer that is best suited for your case. Just because your neighbor or co-worker liked their attorney, doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for you.
Here are 4 tips to keep in mind when selecting your divorce lawyer:
1. Interview more than one attorney. If your case has a specific set of issues, look for lawyers who have expertise in those areas. Some lawyers have a particular strength or skill set with complicated financial matters, custody matters or unique business issues, make sure their expertise matches your unique case. But don’t stop there, look for complimentary chemistry and explore various creative ideas for helping you reach your optimal solution to really ensure they’re a match for you in both business and personality.
2. Bring along a friend or family member, someone who can help you assess the conversation. Discussing your case with a lawyer can be upsetting and difficult, so it can be helpful to have someone else there to listen and help you make the right decision. Note: If your lawyer objects to a third party being involved in the conversation due to attorney-client privilege, ask that they educate you on your many options around that.
3. Manage your expectations. You are hiring a legal professional. Someone who is trained in the procedure of law and has experience in your county with the lawyers, mediators and judges involved in the process. You are not hiring a therapist, a confidant, or a psychic who can predict the exact future outcome of your case.
4. Don’t operate from a place of fear. You don’t necessarily need a “shark” to ensure your interests are protected. In most cases it’s not only unnecessary, it’s a sure way to spend all of your money! Having collaborative skills doesn’t mean a lawyer will not advocate for you. It means that they have an ability to work with your spouse’s attorney to attain a solution first, leaving a more confrontational (and expensive and time-consuming) path as a last resort.
The most important thing to remember is it’s the facts in your case that will dictate the outcome, not the emotional aspect of your situation. It is impossible for a lawyer to give you any legal advice on your “story” without the core basic financial and parenting facts.
A good attorney can change the course of your divorce. It can be the difference between feeling like you have an advocate to protect you, or feeling like you’re fighting a battle alone.
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