Choosing the right attorney should not have to be a daunting task. There are plenty of stories of clients constantly replacing their lawyers and wasting precious time and money. So how do you choose the right divorce lawyer?
Follow these eight steps to find the right divorce attorney for you:
1. Always remember that a divorce is a legal process. While you may not always agree with Florida law, the attorney’s role is to represent you and guide you through the family/matrimonial law webs.Listen to them, not to your Google searches.
2. Choose an attorney who is not only experienced with the area of practice, but who also has personal experience with the process(es). Empathy is a quality that unfortunately, a lot of attorneys forget to express. An attorney who has been divorced, or who is the product of a divorce, give clients a different perspective on his/her case. The feelings an attorney harbors from those experiences will most certainly manifest in a better outcome for you and your family.
“Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” rings true on this second point.
3. Stay focused on resolving the case as quickly and as amicably as possible. Fighting unnecessarily just to spite the other party will only hurt everyone involved. Choose an attorney who will not get caught up in the client’s personal emotions. You need an advocate, but also an attorney who will sit you down and tell you when you are being unreasonable.
4. Be wary of divorce attorneys who want to take everything to trial. Your last resort is trial. Who wants a third party deciding how to divide your assets and liabilities…. and most importantly, the timesharing schedules with your children.
5. Do not hire the first lawyer you interview. We are not cut from the same cloth. Find at least two divorce attorneys that you can interview before making your decision. Clearly, you need to hire a lawyer who specializes in family law and one that is experienced in the specific type of divorce you think is best for you.
6. Interview and research the attorney. You may have found the attorney through a personal referral or through a Google Ad. It does not matter how you found the attorney…. what truly matters is that you research his/her credentials and make sure you are not hiring an attorney who merely dabbles in family/matrimonial law.
7. NO ONE can guarantee an outcome on a case. If you interview an attorney and s/he says that you are “definitely getting permanent alimony,”or “definitely receiving majority timesharing with your kids,” RUN!
8. Divorce is a highly personal and emotional process, the outcome of which can have a significant impact on your life. Choose a divorce attorney who will be reasonable with the fees, gentle with your emotions, and a hawk with your rights.