Choosing a Divorce Attorney

A good divorce attorney can save you a lot of time and money. They will ensure that your paperwork is filed correctly and work with you to settle the terms of your divorce in a reasonable and non-aggressive way.

You want your divorce lawyer to have your undivided attention, but this is not always possible. Look for an attorney that has a balanced case load and can be available to answer questions via phone or email when needed.
1. Experience

A divorce is a complicated legal process, and it can be emotionally draining. An experienced divorce attorney knows the laws and can help spouses understand their rights and options. Spouses should ask attorneys about their experience and the cases they have handled.

A lawyer’s temperament and approach also matter. Some people prefer “bulldog” lawyers, while others want an approach that promotes compromise and a speedy resolution. Some attorneys have specific certifications in collaborative law or are committed to resolving cases without litigation.

When assessing an attorney’s experience, spouses should find out how long the lawyer has been in practice and whether he or she regularly handles divorce cases. In addition, couples should find out who else will be working on their case. For example, larger firms often have teams of paralegals and associates that assist attorneys in researching or filing documents. These individuals can be as important as the lead attorney. Spouses should feel comfortable asking these questions during their initial meeting.
2. Reputation

A divorce attorney’s reputation, if it is positive and reflective of the quality of his or her work, is one of the main factors that influences clients to hire him or her. Recommendations from friends and family are often the starting point, but they should not be the only criterion for choosing a divorce lawyer.

It is important to choose an attorney with whom you feel comfortable and whose work ethic and approach suit your needs. An attorney who has a strong reputation for settling divorce cases out of court may help you avoid added drama and a prolonged agreement process.

It’s also worth considering how an attorney advertises his or her services. For example, the wording used in advertising can give clues to an attorney’s attitude and approach. For instance, a divorce attorney who describes himself or herself as a “divorce attorney” might embrace the less than flattering connotations of that title, while someone who describes herself as a “family law attorney” may be a bit more holistic and bigger picture focused.
3. Fees

Divorce is an emotionally difficult process involving many big decisions, from child custody and property division to spousal support and complex financial issues. Choosing the right attorney can help you make those decisions based on your needs and your legal rights rather than your emotions.

But hiring an attorney can be expensive, especially if your divorce is contested and requires litigation. The good news is that there are ways to save on those fees.

First, be sure you and your potential lawyer see eye-to-eye on how to approach the case. Some attorneys work in a collaborative manner to minimize conflict and settle cases without going to court, while others are more aggressive.

Second, find out whether your potential attorney charges an hourly rate or a flat fee for service. Hourly rates are typical, but some lawyers offer alternative billing methods such as flat fees or hybrid arrangements that combine hourly rates with guaranteed minimums and maximums.
4. Communication

A good divorce attorney will collaborate effectively with you to achieve your goals. This includes open and regular communication, responsiveness to your questions, and the ability to explain complex topics in a way that makes sense to you. It also means participating in meetings, negotiations, and other proceedings to make sure your voice is heard and that your interests are represented.

During your initial consultation, ask about the lawyer’s availability and how often you can expect to hear from him or her about your case. Also, find out if the lawyer or his or her firm will bill you for communicating via phone or email.

A good divorce attorney will also be able to communicate effectively with you, even when emotions are running high. This is important because, despite the best of intentions, messages sent via text or email can sometimes be misinterpreted, especially without the help of body language and tone of voice. Ultimately, this can cause unnecessary frustration and delay in reaching your divorce settlement goals.Scheidungsanwalt

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