If your marriage ends, you’ll want to be armed with all the information you need to make a wise decision about how to proceed. Divorce is never easy, but it can be tolerable when you have a good divorce attorney.
To find a qualified divorce attorney for your particular case, you’ll want to ask about their experience and qualifications for handling divorce. Also, be sure to discuss your budget with them to get an idea of what you may be able to afford out of pocket. Here are some characteristics you should look for in a divorce attorney.
A good reputation is one of the most important things to look into when hiring a divorce attorney. Your divorce attorney will have a lot of dealings with other people and their cases, so it’s beneficial to have someone others will trust and respect.
Start looking into their record to see if they have a good reputation. If the lawyer has poor online reviews, that’s something to consider. Reading through their online reviews will provide some good third-party information about the attorney.
2. Price Range
The amount you’ll pay a divorce attorney depends on how much work they need to do on your case. If it’s straightforward and easily winnable, you’ll likely pay less than if it is complex and contested. Most attorneys will require an upfront retainer to being work. Ask what that is, and a reputable law firm will be very transparent about their fees.
Responsiveness refers to how quickly a divorce attorney answers your calls and responds to emails. A good divorce attorney should respond within 24 hours, and it is best always to be able to reach them by telephone. As you interview lawyers, ask them how they handle customer inquiries and how quickly they respond. If you get an unresponsive lawyer, you may find yourself waiting weeks or months for them to answer your questions. A good lawyer will provide answers quickly, especially to time sensitive matters.
4. Costs Outside of Service
Some divorce attorneys submit bills for their time, expenses, and court fees. Others will ask for the retainer upfront. If you have questions about billing, it is important to inquire about them before signing any documents.
It’s best to see a few different lawyers with your particular case to get an idea of what the costs will be if your case goes to trial vs. if they can settle out of court. This will help you know what your options are.
5. Communication Styles
Successful communication between you and your divorce attorney is essential. If you do not like the attorney’s communication style, it might be best for you to move on to another lawyer. You will have many important conversations with a divorce lawyer, so it’s vital that you can speak candidly without worrying about being judged or second-guessed. Some lawyers prefer email or phone calls, while others prefer face-to-face meetings. You will also have your communication preference, so make sure it syncs up with your attorney’s.
A good divorce attorney will be able to explain how they handle their cases, the style of communication they prefer, and how their experience in similar cases can help them approach yours.
6. Analysis and Research Skills
Your divorce lawyer needs to understand why you are filing for divorce and your primary goals. You want a lawyer who can analyze your situation and provide the best solutions and options.
A good divorce attorney will not just tell you what needs to be done, they will also explain why they think this is the right course of action and offer possible options. Educating and empowering clients should be a trait of a good attorney. This will help you feel more confident that you are making the right moves with your case. If they do not explain things well and do not seem interested in your case, you should look for someone else.
7. Inquire If the Firm has Support Staff
If your lawyer is out of town or is ill and cannot get to court, how will they handle your case? Will they have another lawyer or staff member handle it? It is always helpful to have someone else available who knows what is going on in your case.
Experienced support staff can get you connected to the best option for help and advice if your attorney is unreachable for any reason. If something goes wrong, it’s helpful if there is someone else you can talk with when needed.
The key to finding a good divorce attorney is to research their backgrounds and find a lawyer you trust. If you see that the attorney has been in practice for years, they have seen many similar cases, and have good reviews, it’s worth scheduling a consultation. Also, a great example to start with would be the attorneys at Lawrence & Jecmen, if you live in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area and need to see a divorce attorney you can start there first.