Across the United States, around 40% to 50% of marriages end up in divorce.
No one gets hitched thinking they will one day end up in divorce court. However, the reality is that sometimes you may find yourself on the business end of your marriage and filing for divorce.
Divorce is hard enough on adults as it is. If you have children, how your divorce plays out will affect their future and current life dynamics.
Therefore, the stakes are high when assessing various options to find the best attorney for divorces you can work with.
Here is a deep dive into traits to look for that point to a reliable divorce lawyer you can hire.
1. The Right Experience
The right type of attorney is critical to navigating your divorce, and this is one area you can’t skimp on. As a general rule, you should hire a lawyer who has handled cases similar to yours before.
For instance, if you need to process custody for children, you shouldn’t settle for a prenuptial agreement lawyer for the job. Even if an attorney has experience in both areas, you would still need to determine which of the two areas is their strength.
Likewise, even though divorce is part of family law, you can’t pick up any lawyer who has experience with family law. You need to secure the services of an attorney with a track record of handling divorces similar to yours.
In your quest to look for the right divorce attorney, you will come across generalists. These are lawyers who span several specializations within family law. It is advisable you steer clear of a generalist but instead hire an attorney who has specialized skills with cases similar to yours.
Another issue to factor in here is the type of divorce you want. That’s because within the divorce specialty, there are several types of divorce and different lawyers excel at various options.
It’s common to find a lawyer who has experience in more than one kind of divorce. However, it’s still helpful to zero in on the attorney who has spent more time working with the divorce option you plan to go with.
2. Excellent Communication Skills
An attorney who has the chops to process your case is one thing. Hiring a lawyer who has the skills to serve you and knows how to communicate appropriately with you is another thing.
Divorce is an emotionally strenuous issue, and as such, you need a lawyer who can make things easier through effective communication. As you interview several attorneys, look for a lawyer who makes you feel like they listen to you.
While it might seem like a non-starter, feeling comfortable around your attorney is critical. After feeling safe, you can open up and pass all the entails the attorney needs to handle your case.
An expert lawyer knows how to process a case while still keeping their client in the loop. They don’t talk over their client, and neither do they focus on themselves instead of the client’s needs.
One handy tip when interviewing lawyers is to assess if they talk too much about their success while trying to win your business. You want to work with a divorce attorney who focuses on your needs from the very beginning.
A lawyer who communicates the dynamics of the case clearly from the get-go often makes for a good pick. If the attorney and their team have no issue laying out terms, expectations, billing, and next steps, it signals excellent communication skills.
It’s shocking how many divorce lawyers are not straight with their clients. To such lawyers, your case is a means to an end for them. For you, though, your divorce is your life.
If you hire a lawyer who relies on smoke and mirrors in court instead of handling facts, you’ll have a hard time. Judges don’t like lawyers who grandstand and rely on theatrics. They prefer dealing with an attorney who understands how to use facts to argue their case.
How do you shield yourself from hiring a lawyer who doesn’t tell it as it is?
Ask every attorney you consider hiring what their expectations are on the outcome of your case. A straight-shooting attorney won’t start promising you the moon and the stars.
Such a lawyer knows that no matter how cut and dry a case, there is no guaranteed outcome. A reliable divorce attorney will instead outline their plan to demonstrate the next steps.
Whenever you encounter a lawyer who asks (or implies), you should ‘massage’ the truth about your case; that should be a serious red flag. Walk away from such an attorney regardless of how good their track record or affordable their fee may be.
4. An Enviable Reputation
Too many clients pay attention to a divorce attorney’s track record and place less emphasis on their references and reviews. The inevitable truth is that no matter how good your lawyer is, you won’t derive tangible benefits if they serve you poorly.
Check whether the divorce attorney you want to hire is in good standing with their local bar association at the very least. Look the lawyer up on various online review sites to determine what past clients have to share about working with the lawyer.
Should the local bar association recognize them, you’ll need to dig deeper. Ask the association what criteria they use to assess the lawyer they recommend. Not every lawyer goes through extensive vetting.
Some only need to stay current on their liability license to continue getting recommendations from their bar association.
If your strategy is to look for a divorce attorney by seeking recommendations from other lawyers, request them to share what they hear about the attorney. You can also consult lawyers you know to help you find out what the word on the grapevine is on the lawyer you plan to hire.
There Right Attorney for Divorces Can Make or Break Your Case
Getting the proper legal advice and representation when working through your divorce influences the results. You need to hire the best attorney for divorces to help you lean on high-quality expertise and experience. Look for traits that can direct you to the best attorney who can help you secure your interests.
Ending a marriage is never easy, and you need all the help you can get. Our website is a treasure trove of legal advice to help you navigate divorce. Check out more of our content to discover how to go through a divorce while keeping your sanity.