Divorce can seem overwhelming, with emotions high and plenty of complicated legal concepts involved. Hiring the right divorce lawyer is key to ensuring a smooth and cost-effective divorce process. The following tips will guide you in choosing the perfect divorce attorney for you.

1. Determine your needs

There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a divorce lawyer. Firstly, it is important to identify your goals. For example, if you are looking to claim sole custody of your children, you may want to consider hiring a family law attorney with vast experience in child custody issues. Alternatively, if you are concerned about the division of marital property following a divorce, hiring a lawyer who has proven to be strong in the area of property distribution may be a good idea. It will be much easier to find the best divorce lawyer if you know exactly what you are looking for.

2. Consult at least three lawyers

Even if you feel an instant connection with the first divorce lawyer you meet with, it is highly recommended to consult with at least three different divorce attorneys before deciding on one. Some lawyers will offer a free, non-committal consultation to discuss your situation and their specific legal approach, so take advantage of this opportunity to find out if they are the right fit. It is important to work with a divorce attorney that you feel comfortable with and that you trust will best represent your interests.

3. Read reviews and recommendations

In the same way that you might read reviews for a physician before booking an appointment, you should check reviews of divorce lawyers before hiring them. Reading reviews written by a lawyer's previous clients can give you plenty of insight into the attorney’s skills, experience and general approach. We conveniently include Google and/or Yelp reviews in all of our attorney profiles. This valuable resource is key in finding the right lawyer for you.

4. Consider your budget

Evidently, divorce is a costly process. Aside from various divorce-related expenses such as child support and alimony, legal fees in a divorce can be expensive. The type of legal representation you choose should be in line with your budget. Keep in mind that just because a lawyer has higher rates, it does not mean they will produce a better result in court. Nevertheless, beware of a divorce attorney with cheaper rates that might be too good to be true. Keep your budget range in mind and inform your attorney beforehand if you are financially strained. This can prevent any payment issues that may arise along the way.

5. Ask the right questions

You should always do your homework by properly vetting the potential divorce attorney before bringing him or her on to your case. Here are a few critical questions you may want to ask the lawyer in your initial consultation:

  • How long have you been practicing family law?
  • What is your strategy for my case?
  • Will anyone else be working with you on my case?
  • How will you charge me? What is your estimate of the total cost of this process?
  • Do you expect any additional costs to be involved (i.e. private investigators, psychologists, etc)?
  • What is the best way to reach you? How can I get a hold of you in case of an emergency?

6. Choose a local attorney

Make sure to select a divorce attorney that is geographically convenient for you. Locally-based lawyers will have experience with your state or county’s specific divorce laws and regulations. They may also be familiar with your jurisdiction’s judges and attorneys, which can be a major advantage in your divorce hearing. Also, the less time it takes for your attorney to travel to and from hearings and meetings, the more you will save in hourly attorney fees. For easy access to the right attorney for your needs, we offer the option to sort divorce attorneys by city.

7. Watch out for red flags

There are certain red flags that you should look out for during your interviews with potential divorce attorneys. It is recommended to steer clear of an attorney that tries to pressure you into signing with them immediately without giving you time to consider your options. Although attorneys are undoubtedly busy people, you should be able to rely on your attorney to return your phone calls in a reasonable time frame and remember essential details from your case. Lastly, given that divorces involve deep emotions and sensitive issues, aim to find a divorce lawyer that can express empathy towards your situation.

8. Have realistic expectations

Divorce can be stressful, costly and frustrating if you do not manage your expectations. Being realistic about your divorce attorney's job can prevent disappointment. Although divorce can be incredibly upsetting and emotional, divorce attorneys are trained to deal with the legal aspect of the matter and are not qualified to provide therapy. While your divorce attorney should show empathy and compassion towards your case, make sure you are hiring your divorce attorney for the right reasons: to handle the legal work. If you need support during these difficult times, you can seek out a qualified therapist or psychologist.

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