If you have minor children, it helps to have a divorce lawyer who specializes in family law; if you have had a partner, who had been physically or mentally abusive towards you, a lawyer with experience in women rights would be the right one for you.
Now, that you have struggled with your options and made the final decision that you don’t want to continue on with your present relationship, you need to clear your mind and heart and focus on the next step towards resolution, closure and moving on with your life.
The first inevitable step is to get the right divorce attorney who will be squarely in your team and help you make the break as painless as possible. It is important that you shouldn’t emerge from this experience feeling like a victim.
For most people who don’t have a clue as to how to go around looking for a good divorce lawyer and not land up with an unscrupulous shark, it helps if you have a set of guidelines that will aid you in your search.
But, even before setting out to find the right divorce attorney for yourself, right at the outset, you need to make certain things about your own life and status clear in your mind.
If you have minor children, it helps to have a divorce lawyer who specializes in family law; if you have had a partner, who had been physically or mentally abusive towards you, a lawyer with experience in women rights would be the right one for you. It is better if both of you have separate divorce lawyers who would keep your interests uppermost in mind in case the divorce deals with contentious issues, but if your divorce is amicable, a single divorce lawyer with expertise in mediation, would be the right choice for you. If you have any financial concerns, a divorce lawyer who is an expert in finance laws, would be the right one for you.
Now, that you know which type of divorce lawyer who want, the next step is to talk to friends who have already been through a similar divorce proceeding and find out about their individual experiences with their attorneys. You could make a checklist of specific questions like:
- Was the lawyer prompt in answering any queries, be it via phone or through e mails?
- In case the lawyer was unreachable, was his staff cooperative and knowledgeable regarding any question?
- Was the lawyer comfortable and communicative in the court with the other lawyers as well as judge?
- Were all the terms clearly stated and questions answered beforehand?
- Were the lawyer’s fees and charges per hour well within the financial frame work decided on?
- Would the same lawyer be chosen again, if the situation was to be repeated?
- Did the lawyer settle everything in the given time frame?
After getting your answers, you need to shortlist the top two or three choices and set up a consultation. While some lawyers offer initial free consultations, you need to be prepared for any consultation fee. It is better to go alone for the initial consultation, even if it is an amicable divorce. Keep notes about the marriage at hand along with a folder of legal documents that include the original marriage license and driver’s license. Ask for a fee schedule to know your costs.
During the selection for the final and right choice of divorce lawyer for you, the following points should be kept in the forefront:
- Qualification and Track Record: Check your State Bar Association to ensure that your lawyer has the certification to practice law in your State. For his or her track record, you can not only check his testimonials and practice history, but also the positive or negative reviews about his firm, if any on the internet.
- Communication: You lawyer should understand your priorities and be able to communicate well with you, making you feel at ease in expressing yourself and your wishes. His communication should be in a language that you can understand and not wrapped up in obscure legalese. Your lawyer should be upfront about the reality of your expectations and about the chances of meeting them.
- Availability: You should make it clear to your lawyer that you expect him or his support staff to be available to you to not only answer your queries, but also be present during the key points in your case.
- Affordability: You should ensure that your lawyer works within the discretionary budget you have set for the divorce.
Once, you have found out the right divorce lawyer for yourself, you have to stay strong and get through the process as painlessly as possible.