Divorce is often traumatic and overwhelming. When you are going through one, having a lawyer to support you is very helpful. But, how do you find a lawyer? And, how do you know you have the right lawyer?
Not just any attorney will do
Don’t just hire any attorney to represent you in a divorce. Your best friend’s cousin who practices criminal defense in a different state is not the right lawyer for you. At a minimum, you need an attorney who specializes in family law and practices law in the state where your divorce will occur.
Here are some tips for finding the right lawyer:
- Ask for referrals from friends, colleagues and other people you know who utilized the services of a divorce attorney.
- Check out bios and background information on the attorneys’ websites. Note that a flashy website does not mean that any attorney performs magic.
- Take the time to interview potential attorneys by scheduling an initial consultation.
- Make sure you feel comfortable with the attorney. You need to be able to share information openly and honestly so that the attorney can help you to the best of his or her ability.
- The attorney should listen to you and provide you with substantive information and advice.
- The attorney should speak to you clearly and not inundate the conversation with legal terms that you do not know, and the attorney does not explain.
- Attorneys charge for services provided, but you do not want to be surprised by steep bills. The attorney’s billing fees and procedures should be clearly explained in writing.
- When you hire an attorney, the professional relationship is a two-way street. You should not expect that the attorney will handle everything without your involvement. Be wary if an attorney tells you otherwise. This is your life and you need to participate in the divorce process.