You have put in the effort but it just isn’t working anymore. It happens. After all, approximately 50% of marriages eventually end in divorce.
So, now, it’s time to put the hard feelings behind you and get down to business: the divorce process itself. Depending on your circumstances, it could be a long road or a seamless and simple experience. Regardless, you’re advised to have a divorce attorney on your side.
Wondering how to choose divorce lawyers? Then read on. Here’s how to choose between options for lawyers when filing for divorce.
You should begin your search by using Google. Type the phrase “divorce lawyers near me” into the search box and see which results pop up. Then, comb through them, all the while assessing their individual star ratings and client reviews.
Google should compile a list of all the divorce lawyers in your area. So, you shouldn’t have to look hard in order to find them.
Pick out a handful of them and write them down on a piece of paper. We advise choosing lawyers with consensus star ratings of at least 4.
The key is to create a pool of potential lawyers. These are lawyers that you’re going to consider further as well as compare against one another. Your pool can be as big as you want it to be, though we recommend narrowing it down to 5 or so attorneys.
Consider the Divorce Processes
Next, you’re going to want to consider the different divorce processes and then choose the one that best suits you. There are 3 major divorce processes. These include collaborative divorce, mediation, and litigation.
Collaborative divorce is when the two separating partners settle on things outside of a court of law. It still involves legally-binding agreements but is not dictated by anyone but the separating partners.
Mediation is when the two separating partners meet with a trained mediator. The mediator talks through issues with the two partners and helps them come to agreements. It’s important to note, however, that the separating partners get the final say on the terms of the agreements.
Litigation is when the divorce is tried in court. Both sides argue their case and a judge makes the final decision on the specifics of various issues.
Does one of these methods appeal to you more than the others? If so, you should search for a divorce lawyer who typically uses this method.
Call up the lawyers on your list and ask them how they generally go about divorce cases. If they don’t use the method or process that you prefer, you should look elsewhere.
Different divorce lawyers charge different rates. Whereas some will charge $75 an hour, others will charge upwards of $500 an hour. So, when comparing lawyer fees, you need to choose a lawyer whose rates align with your budget.
Now, this isn’t to say that you should scrimp on your lawyer. You still want to choose someone who can get the job done. But you also don’t want to bankrupt yourself.
It’s important to note that many attorneys offer payment plans. As such, they enable you to pay them for their services on a month-to-month basis. Therefore, you don’t need substantial amounts of money in the bank in order to hire a lawyer.
Ensure That Your Lawyer Is Experienced in the Area of Divorce
You’re also going to want to ensure that your lawyer is experienced in the area of divorce. If they’re not, they won’t have a full understanding of your case and will struggle to provide you with adequate services.
Now, how can you determine whether a lawyer is, indeed, experienced in divorce cases? First, just ask them. Most lawyers will be upfront with you about this.
After that, ask them about the specifics of some of their past cases. Determine what kinds of results they were able to get for their clients and decide whether those results satisfy you.
Note that some lawyers work as generalists. This is to say that they take any case that comes their way. By and large, you want to avoid laws such as these.
Now, it’s alright to hire law firms that specialize in many different areas. Law firms hire many different lawyers for many different types of cases. But if you’re working with an individual lawyer, make sure that they’re specialized in divorce cases.
Looking to learn more about divorce lawyers and divorce cases in general? You can read more here!
Speak With Your Prospective Lawyers Personally
Our last piece of advice is to speak with your prospective lawyers personally. Whether it be on the phone or in person, make sure that you’ve had a full conversation with your lawyer before deciding to hire them.
This is important for two reasons: 1. it provides you with a chance to ask important questions, and 2. it enables you to ensure that you and your lawyer will work well together.
Remember: your lawyer is going to be privy to some of the most private details of your personal life. As such, you need to make sure that you can trust them. If you don’t, you might leave them in the dark on certain subjects; this can hurt your case in the long run.
Many lawyers offer free consultations in person. If you can, take advantage of these. If not, at the very least make a call.
Choose Divorce Lawyers Carefully
The fact of the matter is that not all divorce lawyers are created equally. Some are much more skilled and much more experienced in the realm of divorce and will be able to provide you with a more ideal end result. As such, you need to choose divorce lawyers carefully, using the above-reviewed tips all along the way.
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