Because a divorce is a life-changing occurrence in a person’s life, you want to make sure that you are fully protected if you are going through one. To make sure of this, think seriously of what to consider in a divorce attorney because there are several qualities and factors that determine the service you will get.
1. Find out how much experience in handling divorce cases a lawyer has before hiring him. There is no substitute for experience; no matter how brilliant a lawyer’s academic record is, there are some things that can only be learned through experience. Therefore, it is important that you find yourself an attorney who has paid his dues in the school of experience.
Experience hones a lawyer’s skills in many processes that your divorce may entail. Included in this would be the filing of papers, separation of properties, custody arrangements, and financial settlements not to mention sitting in negotiating tables and appearing in court. In addition to this, you will benefit more from the services of a lawyer who knows the judges, opposing attorneys, personnel and specific procedures of the court where your case will be heard.
2. If you have children and custody is an issue, find out how many cases similar to yours he has handled. The handling of child custody concerns is a very sensitive matter. This is where you want, at all costs, to protect our children. Not all lawyers are comfortable with this aspect of divorce so be forthright and ask any lawyer you are thinking of hiring what his perspective is about this. Ask how many cases similar to yours he has handled as well as what he learned from them.
3. Do some research on his reputation in ethics and in terms of client satisfaction. This is information that you may not get directly from the attorney but you can find out some things from the state bar association. It is important to be sure that a lawyer was not disbarred from practice in any other state and just as important to find out why. Go online and try to find reviews about the lawyer you are thinking of hiring. Usually, when people feel strongly that they were neglected and not served well, they will post a review.
4. Look into how qualified the lawyer and his firm is to help you especially if finances are a major consideration in your divorce. The law school curriculum is one that does not deal in depth with finances and some divorces do entail a lot of financial work. This is especially true when one spouse earns considerably more than the other and many investments have been made. Sometimes, projections of the value of retirement funds have to be made. This is outside the expertise of a lawyer.
Usually, a firm will have forensic accountants and financial consultants to help divorce clients in the area of assets. If you are putting together a list of what to consider in a divorce attorney and the financial aspect of your divorce is complicated, be sure that the lawyer you hire has access to experts in money matters.
5. Get an idea of how he tends to handle cases. Often, lawyers see that their clients would be better off negotiating than litigating. However, it is one thing for a lawyer to be at ease in negotiating and quite another thing for him to be uncomfortable bringing a case to trial. Likewise, be wary of lawyers who never negotiate and opt for litigation all the time.
6. If you are seriously thinking of hiring a divorce attorney then one of the most important things you need to do is find out if you can afford him. Ask for an estimate of what everything will cost after you have a general road map of what will take place in the course of the divorce. Find out what his hourly rates are and what a retainer’s fee covers.
Finding a divorce attorney is serious business so go on with your search after you have your list of what to consider in a divorce attorney.