How to Choose a Divorce Attorney
The best outcomes in family court happen when the client has the right attorney on her team. This article will walk thru how to choose a divorce lawyer and provide step by step instructions for choosing a divorce attorney.
Finding the right attorney for you the very first time can save you thousands of dollars and hours of heartache. Use this guide to help you screen for a divorce attorney and hire the best divorce attorney for you.
How An Attorney Can Help
Family law is personal and there is nothing more important than protecting your children, your future, and your financial security. Sometimes, people are able to get divorced without attorneys when the issues are simple or both husband and wife agree on what they want. Sometimes all that is needed is an hour or two with an attorney to allow someone to navigate the muddy waters divorce on their own. Other times, attorneys can be necessary for more when dealing with an unreasonable opposing party, a bully of an opposing attorney, or the issues are complicated.
There may be tricky issues that apply to you and your divorce. For example, Social Security claiming strategies could be very important to you if you are approaching retirement. After at least ten years of marriage, you qualify for Social Security spousal benefits. Similarly, if you want to pay off debt, you may be able to use your divorce as a way to avoid penalties for early retirement withdrawals.
A lawyer can also advise you if an unexpected problem comes up, for instance, if your spouse files for bankruptcy before you receive money due to you in a property settlement. Likewise, a lawyer may be able to help you creatively get rid of debt by using the bankruptcy of one spouse to wipe out the community debt of both spouses.
An attorney can help facilitate proper service of court paperwork on your spouse. A lawyer can advise you on how much money, if any, you should pay or receive for child support, or whether you may be entitled to or owe spousal maintenance.
Working with an attorney ensures you are protecting yourself and your children.
To find the best divorce attorney for you, I recommend that you meet with, or consult with, several attorneys.
What else does your attorney need to know?
What are the current issues you are facing? Who are the players? For instance, is the new wife a major problem for your children? How old are the children and how do they feel about the situation? We really want to understand the dynamics and background of what has been going on with your family. Tell us your story. We want to understand what keeps you up at night and what your primary objectives are. What is the ideal outcome? How do you picture yourself a year from now? Where do you live? Where do you work? What is the schedule you have with your children?
Do you have special payment terms or parameters that you are looking for? We try to accommodate a variety of needs and budgets. By having an idea in advance of your budget or budget parameters, we can best design a solution that fits your needs. For instance, if your grandmother is giving you the money, but she will give it to you over a three-month period of time, let us know. We can design a system to meet your needs. Do you have deadlines that must be met that have not already been addressed?
Finding a decent divorce lawyer? Here are a couple of proposals:
Recommendation #1-Ask a Lawyer
In the event that you know a lawyer, ask him/her for a referral to a decent divorce lawyer. The individual will likely know somebody or a few someones who dedicate a huge segment of the act of law to detachment and divorce and related issues. For instance, I have been dealing with partition and divorce for a long time and have an incredible notoriety among the nearby legitimate network. Any divorce lawyer worth his/her salt ought to have set up a notoriety among different lawyers. Lawyers for the most part realize who is useful for a specific sort of case; they unquestionably know who they would see, on the off chance that they were confronting partition and divorce.
Proposal #2-Yellow Pages/Internet
While not an extraordinary wellspring of data, the Yellow Pages and web can be a starting wellspring of lawyer names. Lawyers who don’t specify partition, divorce, military divorce, and related regions like authority and backing or property division, are not looking for cases in those territories and positively don’t give a critical segment of the training to those regions. Be cautious of advertisements that incorporate a clothing rundown of all things everywhere. Recollect the familiar axiom, “a handyman and ace of none”? Wouldn’t you rather have somebody who sets aside the effort to center in any event a lot of time to family law, than somebody who perhaps commits 3% of his/her training to family law issues? Recall not every person promotes in the Yellow Pages or haw a site or web nearness.. For instance, there are more phone postings than there are lawyer advertisements in the Yellow Pages.
Talk to More Than One Attorney
Actually, meet a few lawyers. Ask every lawyer who else handles detachment and separation in the territory. On the off chance that they won’t give you names, leave the workplace, when you see names appearing on different arrangements of proposals, the chances are presumably great that the lawyer is doing these cases all the time.
Use a Checklist
I have delineated components that you ought to think about when choosing a separation legal counselor.
A. Experience. The more you have been rehearsing a specific territory of the law, the more you know. There is a familiar aphorism that says a decent legal counselor knows the law and an incredible legal advisor knows the judge! What is the contrast between a decent legal counselor and an incredible attorney? Experience.
B. Experience Trying Cases. Has he/she accomplished any preliminary victories for his/her customers? Will the legal advisor point to case results or customer tribute mirroring his/her capacities?
C. Is it accurate to say that they will settle when suitable to do as such? Preliminary lawyers once in a while experience the ill effects of an enlisted weapon mindset. They like the rush of difficult cases and may not think about different alternatives, for example, intercession or intervention to accomplish a goals. Most great separation lawyers don’t receive this methodology, however consider preliminary to be a final retreat, when different choices have neglected to hasten a reasonable goals of the issues. In contrast to different zones of the law, family law regularly involves continuous connections and thusly requires an alternate point of view. I as of late read an article by individual damage lawyer, who was composing on the best way to pick individual damage legal advisor. He said not to pick a legal counselor who settles a great deal of cases. With regards to division and separation, I trust it is critical to attempt to arrive at an understanding, on the off chance that you can.
How do you know if you have hired a bad attorney?
- You have no idea what’s going on in your case.
If your calls are not being returned, your emails are unanswered for days, and you never see the documents that are being filed on your behalf, you may have a communication problem.
You need to direct the objectives of your family law case. Your attorney has a duty to communicate with you about what’s being filed, what is going on, and what the opposing party is communicating to your attorney.
Too many attorneys fail to communicate with clients, leaving their clients feeling completely in the dark. It is our belief that the client is part of the legal team. Because we see you as a valued team member, we need you to communicate with us as much as we need to communicate with you. We need to know what’s going on with you and your children and your ex. We need to know if your objectives change and that you agree with everything we are saying within our pleadings on your behalf.
- You are not receiving regular bills or have no idea where your money has gone.
Fee disputes are the number-one reason attorneys and clients break up. We believe that transparency and predictability are essential for a healthy attorney/client relationship. We invoice clients two times every month in order to make sure clients are informed about everything going on in their case. We also utilize a hybrid fee agreement of flat fees and hourly billing in order to increase predictability and uniformity for clients. Additionally, clients have the option of a flat fee case. For a flat fee case, you pay a flat fee no matter how long your case takes. The actual flat fee will need to be determined based on your individual case and will be worked out with you and your attorney.
- Your attorney isn’t listening to you.
Your relationship with your family law attorney is most definitely a relationship. She must understand your objectives. This is the most important part of my job. If you feel like your attorney isn’t listening or doesn’t understand your objectives, you may end up spending more time and money than necessary. Worse, you may end up with a result that you are not looking for. I start all my relationships listening to the client’s concerns, issues and circumstances. Next, we come up with a plan for their personal case. Every plan is different because every client’s situation is unique. Next, we plan to change and adapt as circumstances evolve. Oftentimes, we may think we know how someone will react, only to be pleasantly surprised by a settlement. Other times, what looks like an easy case may become very complicated by a job loss or third-party player. If you feel like your attorney isn’t listening, have a conversation. Tell her how you feel. If things don’t improve after that, it’s probably time to dump your lawyer.