Filing for divorce can feel like a stressful process, especially if children are involved. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through it alone. Instead, consider picking a divorce lawyer you can trust.
With their help, you can streamline the process and get your life back on track. There are now over 74,000 family law and divorce lawyers in the US, though. Do you have a plan for finding the one lawyer you need?
Here are seven tips that can help.
With this guide, you can find the one lawyer equipped to handle your case. They’ll help minimize your stress, allowing you to focus on your fresh start.
Start your search for a reliable divorce lawyer with these easy tips today.
1. Look for Specialized Experience
First, it’s important to find a lawyer you can rely on. Start by searching for an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer. Make sure they have experience working in your area.
Some laws can differ based on the state or region you’re in. Finding a local lawyer will give you peace of mind. You’ll know they’re aware of the laws and procedures relevant to your case.
You can check the Martindale-Hubbel directory to make a list of divorce lawyers in your area.
As you research each lawyer, consider how long they’ve practiced law. How long have they practiced in the area?
How long have they specialized as a family lawyer?
Make sure they specialize in divorce cases, too. Otherwise, you might find a family lawyer with more experience in a different area. For example, family lawyers also handle:
- Estates and wills
- Child custody agreements
- Prenuptial agreements
- Litigants in court
Consider your divorce case. Does anything make your case unique? For example, are you handling a contested divorce?
Make sure the lawyer you choose has the divorce case experience you need. Otherwise, they might lack the necessary knowledge for your case. You don’t want to choose a lawyer with the wrong specialty.
Make sure to check your local bar association website. Confirm that the lawyer’s license is up-to-date. If they’re not licensed to practice in the area, scratch them off your list.
Look for lawyers with additional certifications as well. Do they have a National Board of Trial Advocacy certification? They likely have extensive courtroom experience.
Choosing a qualified, experienced lawyer will give you peace of mind.
2. Consider Courtroom Experience
You never know when your divorce could end up in a courtroom. Before picking a divorce lawyer, make sure they’re comfortable going to court. Are they capable of arguing your case in front of a judge and jury?
Are they apprehensive about going to court? If so, they might try to settle out of court instead. They could accept a low divorce settlement as a result.
You want to choose a lawyer who has your best interests in mind, not their own.
Ask each lawyer on your list about the divorce case experience. Are they comfortable in a courtroom? How many cases have they handled that involved a trial?
As the lawyer talks about their experiences, pay attention to the way they speak.
Do they sound confident in their abilities? Do they waver?
Choose someone who is confident they can win your case in court.
3. Review Their Track Record
When filing for divorce, you’ll want to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Look for a lawyer with a strong track record. Choosing a winner will give you peace of mind in their abilities.
How many cases have they handled over the years? How many of those divorces were similar to your case? What was the outcome in those instances?
Try to learn about their recent cases, too. What happened?
Over 782,000 divorces are filed each year. Your lawyer should have years of hands-on experience. Their track record will speak to that experience.
If they drop the ball with their previous cases, they could struggle with yours, too. Instead, choose a lawyer you can feel confident with.
4. Ask for References
Ask each lawyer on your list for references and reviews, too.
You don’t have to believe a lawyer when they claim they’re the best available. Instead, let their previous clients speak on their behalf. Reviews and references will help you learn more about their abilities.
Did the client have any issues while working with their lawyer? Were they satisfied with the outcome of their case?
Would they suggest you contact someone else instead?
Talk to at least three different people. Ask if they’re comfortable about discussing their case with you. Try to learn more about the process from their point of view.
They can help you determine whether or not the lawyer is the right person for your case.
5. Talk About Your Case
Talk to your lawyer about the details surrounding your case. You can schedule in-person consultations with at least three people on your list.
What’s different about your case? Are you divorcing a narcissist? Is your spouse abusive?
The details of your case can help your lawyer determine the best course of action. Ask them what legal strategy they would use. Do they feel confident that they can help you?
What outcome do they expect with your case?
Don’t choose someone who gives you a guarantee. Instead, your lawyer should help you develop realistic expectations.
6. Gather the Right Documents
Ask your lawyer what documents you’ll need when filing for a divorce. You can bring these documents to your family law consultation. Your lawyer will use these documents when building your case.
First, gather your financial documents. These include your salary documents, pay stubs, income tax returns, and debts. Consider grabbing your mortgage, car documents, and phone records, too.
Your lawyer will use these documents when dividing your assets.
7. Read the Contract
Ask each lawyer for a copy of their contract. What’s included? Comparing lawyer fees will give you a better idea of the local average.
Make sure to ask about their fee structure. Will you pay them up-front?
Making a Change: 7 Tips for Picking a Divorce Lawyer
Picking a divorce lawyer doesn’t have to feel as stressful as the divorce itself. Instead, use these seven tips to make an informed choice. With these tips, you’ll have peace of mind knowing the best lawyer is at your side.
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