It is advisable that anyone who is facing or thinking about a divorce to ask for legal advice from a divorce attorney. A good divorce attorney can educate you on the divorce laws applicable in your state and help minimize the lengthy court process and emotional distress that is often associated with the divorce proceedings. Knowing when to contact a divorce lawyer can make the difference between an amicable divorce and a potentially uphill battle.
Below are some things that should be considered when hiring a divorce lawyer.
Experience of the Lawyer
It is imperative that any divorce attorney that you consider hiring has sufficient experience in managing divorce cases in your area. A divorce lawyer who is experienced knows what to expect from the judges on your case and will use this information to your advantage. In addition, the attorney should practice primarily in the field of family or divorce law.
Ability to Communicate With Attorney
One of the most common complaints about an unhappy client is that they were uncomfortable communicating with the attorney.
It is essential that your divorce attorney is accessible and prompt in responding to your phone calls, emails and requests for meetings.
Not only should you feel satisfied with the level of interaction but also with the connection you have with the attorney, whether you feel understood and whether through their communication they present themselves as being true advocates.
You can make a decision on the attorney to hire by finding out what their past clients have to say about them. If you don’ know anyone who has been a client of a particular divorce attorney, you should ask the attorney to provide you with a former client’s list that you can contact who can describe the experience with the lawyer. It is also a good idea to call the State Bar Association and see if there are any past clients who have filed grievances with the attorney.
On your initial meeting with the divorce attorney, it is important that you ask them about the consultation fee. There are attorneys who will charge a small amount for consultation, but the most experienced ones charge between $100-200 as consultation fees or their usual hourly rates.
Make sure that you find out the attorney’s hourly rates, their up-front retainer, and whether part of the retainer will be refunded if not used, and how often you can expect to receive invoices that show their hourly charges and expenses.
Comfortable with the Lawyer
Before hiring an attorney, you should ask yourself if you are comfortable with him and whether you in support of his or her abilities. Find out whether the lawyer is genuinely interested in your case and is willing to spend the required time to advocate for you during the divorce.