Okay, that was your Google search. So, what are you really looking for in a divorce lawyer and how do you find it?
How do you know what to NOT look for? What kind of divorce attorney is best for you?
Is there a difference between a man and woman attorney? Should I care?
These are not just fair questions. They are necessary.
So, how do you do it?
A great deal of people ask for a recommendation from friends, co-workers or family. The good side of this method is that you can get some real feedback. The negative is that all cases are different. If your neighbor had an uncontested divorce and loved his attorney, that does not mean it is the correct attorney for a high asset divorce or highly contested custody case.
Here is how you find your first divorce attorney, and I say first, because you can always change attorneys. You can freely make one change without the Court thinking that the problem is you. It’s when you make a change to a third divorce attorney, when the Court begins to wonder why you cannot maintain an attorney.
1. Look for competence. Competence often starts with practicing for 25 years or longer as a divorce attorney, as opposed to an attorney who also handles some divorces.
2. Look for the ability to explain. Divorce attorneys should be able to listen to you, provide you with an education and then provide you with alternatives, so that you can make an informed decision.
3. Costs. There are many ranges of attorneys’ fees. You need to understand that a low retainer does not mean low attorney fees. Having the most expensive divorce attorney does not mean you will get the best attorney.
4. The right fit. Personality is important. You just someone who speaks plainly to you, does not talk down to you, and someone who you can understand. Some people do like to make a gender decision when choosing an attorney. That is fine, if that is what makes you feel comfortable.
5. The process. Certain attorneys advertise that they are only for women, only for men, only offer collaborative law or something else. Do you really want to choose the best professional for the job based on one of these distinctions? Probably not.
One last thought. When you make your decision, stay involved, informed and aware. Be assertive with your attorney. Demand to know what is going on at all times. Look at your bill. Make sure you understand it. Continue to talk with your attorney about your goals to ensure that your divorce attorney is working towards them.