What You Need to Look For in a Divorce Attorney


When you are in the midst of a divorce, one of the most crucial decisions you will make is hiring an attorney. Since there will be many important decisions to be made regarding division of assets, child custody, spousal support, and much more, having a skilled attorney working on your behalf can not only make the divorce itself a bit easier, but also ensure your legal rights will be protected each step of the way. However, since these situations often have people feeling overwhelmed, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly what to seek in hiring a divorce attorney. If you need help with this, here is what you should always look for when hiring your divorce attorney.

Prior Experience

Perhaps more than anything, you want an attorney who has prior experience handling divorce cases similar to yours. If you make the mistake of hiring a lawyer who has little experience handling divorce cases, you are setting yourself up for disaster. If this happens, you will probably come out on the losing end regarding which assets you are allowed to keep, how often you get to see your kids, and how much money you may be expected to pay in spousal support.

Satisfied Clients

When you are considering hiring an attorney to handle your divorce, always find out if they have satisfied clients to whom you can speak with before making your final decision. In these situations, getting to talk with people who have used the attorney you are considering for their divorce cases will give you great insight into what to expect. If a lawyer is unwilling to provide you with testimonials, look elsewhere.

Keeping You in the Loop

Once you hire an attorney to represent you during your divorce, you naturally will need to know what is going on during the process. However, many clients often complain that once they hire an attorney, they are often kept uninformed as to how things are going, and usually have a hard time communicating with their attorney. Therefore, before hiring an attorney for your divorce, make sure they have a track record of promptly returning phone calls and other communications, and are committed to making you an integral part of the process from start to finish.

Comfort Level

During your initial consultation with a prospective divorce attorney, make note of how comfortable you feel during the meeting. If you are ill at ease for any reason, it will be to your benefit to schedule a few more meetings with other attorneys. For example, if you feel as if you are being talked down to instead of being treated with respect, do not trust this attorney with so many important aspects of your life. If you do, chances are you will ultimately be very disappointed with the outcome.

Fee Structure

When you are dealing with a divorce, money will of course be one of the most-discussed topics during your hearings. Unfortunately, it will also be an important part of your decision-making process when selecting an attorney to represent you against your soon to be ex-spouse. While many lawyers will offer free initial consultations to discuss your case, others may charge consultation fees of as much as $200. In addition, find out such things as their hourly rate, how much of an upfront retainer they may require, and how often they will send you itemized invoices for their services. Finally, once you pick an attorney to represent you, never begin anything until you have a signed contract with the attorney that you clearly understand and lays out all necessary details of your arrangement.

While it may take some time to pick out the best lawyer for your divorce case, the extra effort will usually pay off in the end. From getting a better custody arrangement to keeping more of your hard-earned assets, having a good attorney on your side pays huge dividends.


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