If you’re getting divorced and want to be adequately represented, keep reading as we give you an ultimate guide on choosing the right divorce attorney.
More than 630,000 couples get divorced in the United States each year. This can be an emotional time for everyone involved. However, divorces also involve a lot of practical planning.
To make sure that you get a fair deal during the divorce process, it is important to get advice from a legal professional. You will need to hire a divorce attorney whether you are getting a contested or uncontested divorce.
However, with more than 57,000 family law businesses in the country, choosing the right attorney for you can feel overwhelming! Your lawyer will have a huge impact on the outcome of your divorce, so it is important to think carefully about who you hire. So, where should you start?
Read on to find out everything you need to know about finding a divorce attorney.
Decide What You Want Before Hiring a Divorce Attorney
Before you hire a divorce attorney, you should think carefully about how you want to handle the divorce process. There are plenty of different types of divorce that you can file for.
For example, you and your ex can work together on an uncontested divorce. In that case, you’ll only need to hire an attorney for legal advice and to draw up your divorce settlement.
Alternatively, you can hire an attorney to represent you in a contested divorce. Depending on where you live and the circumstances of your break up, you will also need to decide if you want to file for a fault or no-fault divorce.
This will help you find someone with experience handling the type of divorce that you want to pursue.
Look For Someone With the Right Experience
When you speak to attorneys, make sure you ask about their experience handling different types of divorce cases. This will help you find someone who is familiar with the type of divorce you want.
Only 5% of divorce cases end up going to trial each year. Nevertheless, it is also a good idea to look for attorneys with experience in divorce courts. Hiring an attorney with this kind of experience will give you peace of mind if you and your ex cannot come to an agreement.
Some couples will also need to think about specific divorce terms. For example, if you have children, you will need to arrange child custody and support payments. In that case, you should look for an attorney with experience handling cases that involve children of divorce.
Keep Your Budget in Mind
Divorce is an expensive process, so make sure you plan ahead for this.
The average divorce attorney rate is $270 per hour plus administrative costs. And there is no way of knowing how long your divorce will go on for, especially if you are getting a contested divorce.
Because of this, make sure you ask each attorney their hourly rate and consider your finances carefully.
You don’t want to cut corners when hiring an attorney. However, you also don’t want to get halfway through your divorce and find that you can no longer afford legal support.
Get Help From Legal Organizations
There are plenty of brilliant legal organizations that can help you find divorce attorneys. They let you search for attorneys with a range of experience across the country.
Some useful places to look include:
- The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- The American Bar Association’s Department of Family Law
- The International Academy of Family Lawyers
So make sure you check out these organizations when looking for an attorney.
Speak to People That You Trust
If you have a close friend or relative who has recently gotten divorced, they can also provide helpful insights.
Speak to them about the attorney they used and how successful they found the process. This can give you a good idea of where to start looking or which attorneys to avoid!
Check Out Online Reviews
You can also go online to find out about people’s personal experiences with an attorney.
Before you hire an attorney, you should always check out reviews of them from previous clients. This will give you a good idea of whether or not an attorney really delivers on their promises.
Make sure that you do this on trusted, independent websites. After all, an attorney isn’t going to share bad reviews on their own site!
Think About the Resources on Offer
You may feel drawn to an attorney when you first meet them. However, it is important not to just focus on the individual attorney.
If you hire them, you will end up working with their whole legal team. This includes paralegals and office staff in their practice. So it is a good idea to look at the resources they are working with.
Attorneys who work with a big legal team have more time, resources, and energy to pour into your case. This can make a huge difference to the outcome of your divorce.
Look For a Divorce Attorney Who Asks the Right Questions
Meeting with an attorney doesn’t just give them an opportunity to review your case and give you legal advice. It is also a chance for you to see how they work and whether or not they deliver a high-quality service.
Great lawyers will ask the following questions during your initial consultation:
- Do you or your ex own a business?
- Did you live together before you got married?
- Do you or your ex have any debts?
- Is your ex going to play the “blame game” or seek a fault divorce?
During this meeting, you can also ask about their success rates, their fees, and their preferred means of communication. So don’t be afraid to ask your potential attorney anything before you hire them.
Get Support With Your Divorce Today
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when hiring a divorce attorney. If you are getting divorced, keep these tips in mind, and you’re sure to find the right attorney for your case.
Are you looking for more help with your divorce? Mediators can help you and your ex discuss the terms of your divorce in a fair and supportive environment. Get in touch today to find out how Fairwell Mediation can help you.