If you are in the process of getting a divorce, you may have considered hiring an attorney to represent you and your interests. While this is almost always the best idea, you may wonder how to go about choosing the right divorce attorney for you. There are many options to consider before selecting an attorney and many different approaches to divorce law. If you have been struggling to find the right attorney for your case, the following should help guide you in the right direction.
What To Consider Before Hiring a Divorce Attorney
Before you hire a divorce attorney to represent you in your divorce proceedings, you may choose to have consultations with multiple different attorneys and law firms. When trying to decide if the attorney you’re meeting with is right for you, look for the following signs:
They have relevant experience- When looking for a good divorce lawyer, don’t simply look for an attorney who has divorce law experience, though that should help you narrow down your search a great deal. You should look for someone who has experience dealing with cases similar to yours. They will be more familiar with the procedures involved and understand how to better handle your case.
They are professional- Your attorney should attend all meetings on time, correctly file any and all of your paperwork, keep you informed of what is being done on your case and why, and meet all deadlines. This is the mark of a professional attorney who has your best interest at heart.
They are a great negotiator- Your attorney should have expert communication skills and be able to effectively negotiate on your behalf. If possible, you want to avoid taking your case to court.
They are compatible with you- You will likely be spending a lot of time with your attorney throughout the litigation process. Due to this, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable around your attorney. There might be deeply personal situations that you may need to share with them. Having an attorney who you feel comfortable and safe with can help you navigate those sensitive and difficult conversations.
When selecting an attorney, you should not be looking for someone who might become a new friend, but they should be someone you feel confident in and comfortable with. They should be a true professional with extensive experience that they can use to benefit you and your case.
Questions You Should Ask Your Potential Divorce Attorney
During your meetings with potential divorce attorney candidates, you should have a relevant list of questions prepared to ask them. Think about what aspects of your case are the most important to you and ask them how they plan to assist you. If you are unsure of what to ask, here are some of the best questions to ask your divorce attorney candidates:
Can you tell me a little about yourself and your law experience?- This is a great way to get to know the attorney that you are considering working with. You can see what kinds of cases they typically take and what their niche is.
What types of divorce cases do you specialize in?- This is an important question for anyone who may have additional complications in their divorce process such as the division of spousal or child support, or military divorces.
What costs are associated with my case?- It is important to know upfront how much your divorce might potentially cost. Of course, there is no telling or giving an exact number but receiving a range of estimates is a good indicator that your attorney understands the divorce process well, and will be able to give you a cost-benefit analysis of important decisions you may need to make during settlement negotiations.
How will I pay you?- Each attorney has their own preferred payment method. You should also know how much you will have to pay to keep them on retainer if needed, what their hourly billing rates are, their standard billing practices, and method of invoicing you.
When can I expect you to return my calls/emails?- Having clear communication with your attorney is incredibly important. Due to this, you should know when you will be able to reach them. If there is an emergency happening and you need to contact them, you shouldn’t have to wait multiple days for a response from someone in their firm.
Of course, you may have additional and more case-specific questions. You can use these questions as a template, as a way to build a more specific discussion, or use them exactly as they are written. No matter how you use them, they are intended to help you find the best attorney to handle your case.
Qualities to Look For In a Good Divorce Attorney
When you are speaking with possible divorce attorney candidates, you should also be paying attention to the way that they treat you. Some good traits to look for in your potential divorce attorney are:
They are reasonable- They should be the kind of person who can look at your case from an unbiased perspective and let you know when to settle and when to push on. They should want the best for you and not encourage you to move forward with pursuing your position if it isn’t entirely necessary or reasonable.
They are honest with you- Your attorney should be honest with you about every aspect of your case. If there is a problem, they should notify you. They should also be upfront about court costs and your case’s likelihood of success if you pursue certain settlement positions.
They care about you and your case- They should want and try to get you the best outcome for your case. They should not use your case as a way to earn the maximum fees possible or leave you feeling uninformed about what your reasonable expectations should be.
If your divorce attorney has these qualities, it is likely that they will be the best match for you throughout your divorce process. A good attorney is one that continually impresses you and doesn’t leave you wondering about your case’s progression. They should be open, honest, and communicative with you throughout the entire process so that you are an active participant in your case.
If you are in need of an attorney for your upcoming divorce, contact the professionals at MDB Family Law. Our attorneys have years of experience handling cases similar to yours and will make sure that you receive the support that you need during this difficult time. You can call us at 703-522-8100 or contact us directly on our website here. We look forward to seeing how we can assist you.