When it’s time to decide on a divorce lawyer, take advantage of the free visits that most attorney’s offer. Talk to several lawyers. When you’re done, how does this lawyer stack up? Here are 5 things to consider.
- Is the Attorney Honest with You? Ask some hard questions. Is there a special asset you want to keep? Ask if it can be protected? Do you want spousal support? See if the attorney thinks it could happen. Judge the answers and compare your first visits. If any lawyer is telling you just what you want to hear, cross that firm off your list.
- Can the Attorney be Your Champion? Do you sense that he believes what you have to say about why you’re getting a divorce and does he agree with the outcome you are seeking? You want a lawyer who is firmly on your side and ready to fight for you if necessary.
- Is this Attorney Knowledgeable? Ask about the attorney’s experience and ready any online reviews or rankings. Be sure to ask if he has handled cases that have the same rough spots as yours and what was their outcome. You want an attorney who is knowledgeable about divorce laws in your state and one who is knowledgeable about any special issues or concerns you case might have. You also want an attorney who is looking ahead at your future and helping you plan for life after divorce with advice on anything from dealing with child custody issues to financial issues.
- Can the Lawyer Act and Not React? Words you don’t want to hear are “let’s see what the other side has to say”. You want a lawyer who is willing to act on your behalf; not one who is just reacting to the demands or requests made by the opposing side. Check the attorney’s reputation in the legal community. Is he or she well respected by peers and judges? That respected legal professional is who you are looking for to represent you.
- How Does the Lawyer Treat You? Do you feel that this attorney is ready to help you through a hard part of your life? You should feel respected and you should feel that the attorney is compassionate and ready to help. Again, ask some questions. How long will it take the attorney to respond to a phone call if you have a question? Will you meet with him or a member of his staff? Even a simple divorce is difficult and you want to find an attorney that will give you the support you need.
An experienced divorce lawyer should answer your questions and never be irritated or antagonistic because you are asking them. You want a divorce attorney who understands you, understands the issues in your divorce and will help you come out the other side ready for a new start.