The decision to file for divorce is not one that is made lightly. A momentous life decision such as this is often followed by the question, “What do I do next?” The process of filing for divorce can seem daunting, costly, and intimidating to pursue.
Finding the right divorce lawyer for your situation can have a massive positive impact on a potentially tedious situation. In addition to the psychological benefits of having professional guidance, the right divorce lawyer can also save you significant amounts of time and money.
How do I start looking for a divorce lawyer?
Start by asking friends and family
The prospect of speaking to friends and family may seem overwhelming at first. Talking about your personal life aloud to your loved ones often makes the situation feel more “real” and inevitable. While it may seem challenging in the beginning, voicing your concerns with those who care about you can only help your situation.
Seeking any word-of-mouth recommendations for divorce lawyers from people you trust can put you on the right path to expert professional advice and guidance. In contrast, a trial-and-error approach can prove costly and time-consuming.
Know your budget
It’s important not to overspend on an already potentially expensive process by incurring unplanned expenses along the way. It’s a better idea to discuss rates with any potential lawyers over the phone before in-person consultations, for example. This proactivity avoids any awkwardness or wasted time from either party if the lawyer happens to be outside of your price range.
Know what you want before you go in
There are various options available when choosing to separate from your spouse, including mediation, collaborative divorce, litigation, and more. Some options more cost-effective and less time-consuming than others, and they may be the right approach for you. It depends on your requirements and the intended outcome for the divorce.
It’s important to know what your goal is before you begin the process. Keep in mind the factors you have to consider, such as child-care and the dissolution of assets. Knowing this information ahead of any consultation will help keep you focused, less emotional, and better equipped to make a correct assessment of any divorce lawyer.
Any reliable divorce lawyer will be able to talk you through your options with a client-centered approach. They should be responsive to your needs and answer all your questions unambiguously.
Interview potential lawyers
You are hiring them to do a job, so now is the time to ask questions. Seek clarification, confirm their rates, and discuss their track record. Don’t be afraid to look for more information, and never feel pressurized into hiring the first divorce lawyer you encounter.
It’s also a good idea to research three or four potential candidates before you commit. Take the time to meet with them in person and get a sense of how they operate.
Many divorce lawyers will offer a free first consultation to give you both the chance to get to know each other. Use this time to assess how your potential lawyer behaves during the meeting.
Are they attentive and client-centered, or distracted, pushy, and aggressive? Do you feel like they’re listening to your needs? Are they behaving professionally and courteously?
Call the Professionals
Your first consultation is your opportunity to observe how they are likely to operate on a daily basis. It can be far more revealing and honest than any advertising jargon. Above all, trust your gut.
Do you like the lawyer? Do you feel comfortable around them? Do you feel capable of their abilities, and does their professional approach match your intended outcomes?
For a divorce lawyer that you can trust, visit one of our seasoned professionals and get to know us a little better—no strings attached. Call us for a free first consultation today.