It is a sad truth but it is reality that each year roughly 800,000 couples get divorced in the United States which is around 45%, an average of 100 divorces are filed per hour in the United States. Divorce is time-intensive and emotionally draining, and divorce proceedings can last upward of a year. The processing of divorce does not make the process any less frightening and stressful for spouses who are initiating divorce proceedings.
Depending on the situation, divorce can be complex, both emotionally and legally. An experienced divorce attorney can help in navigating these complexities with more confidence and less stress, especially if you are expecting to deal with issues such as child support, custody agreements, or division of marital property. An attorney can help draft and explain legal documents, and ensure that rights are protected.
These key steps to hiring a divorce attorney can help you assess your divorce priorities, prepare you for the initial interview and consultation process, and guide your decisions during the divorce proceedings, should you encounter conflict or challenges with your legal representation:
Get yourself prepared for the divorce process.
- Determine what issues are most important to you in your divorce.
- Understand what the attorney’s role is in your divorce.
- Ask these 10 questions in your initial consultation with a lawyer.
- Understand the attorney’s fees and costs, and how you will pay.
- Don’t be tempted to go with the most aggressive lawyer, even if you think your spouse will.
- Considering mediation? Ask an attorney for advice.
Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Situation
When you have identified possible candidates, interview your top choices. Some offer free consultations, but budget for a paid meeting if you think the attorney is worth it. You will learn something about how you want your divorce to proceed from each meeting.
Probe for whether they have the expertise you need, whether their approach matches how you hope to work, and how well you think you would work together with that attorney. Also, as noted above, clarify the cost structure that hiring that lawyer would entail. Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer are –
- Do you specialize in divorce?
- For how long have you been practicing family law?
- What costs can I expect to pay while working with you?
- What is your approach to divorce cases?
- Do you practice collaborative divorce? Do you usually settle divorce cases out of court?
- What is involved in the divorce process and how long does it typically last?
- What percentage of your practice is devoted to divorce cases?
- How many divorce cases have you tried?
- What is your experience handling child custody cases and working with high-net-worth individuals?
- How much of my divorce case will you actually handle?
- What is your philosophy on divorce?
- Do you offer mediation or other alternative out-of-court dispute resolution?
- Can you give me an estimate of how much my divorce will cost?
Tips to Hire The Best Divorce Lawyer
Picking the best divorce lawyer according to your situation is not easy. And, ones you finalize, you have to move forward with him to proceed your case. So, be aware of all the things you need to keep in mind so that you can pick the best divorce lawyer available.
Check out these tips that will help you to hire the best divorce lawyer according to your situation –
1. Get Divorce Attorney Recommendations from Trusted Advisors
One of the best ways to begin your search for a divorce attorney is to ask a trusted attorney you already work with to make a recommendation. For example, a lawyer who is known and trusted by your family or who handles legal concerns for your family business is typically a good resource.
2. Hunt the market, check your options
Interview more than one divorce lawyer. Do not choose the first divorce lawyer that you find. Take your time in looking for a divorce attorney. Allow yourself to have several options by making a list of lawyers you think can provide the kind of legal service you need. Do not immediately sign up with the first one that you find. Explore your options first.
I always recommend people to interview more than one divorce attorney, because you want to hire a lawyer whose experience and approach to divorce aligns with your goals. It’s also important to meet face-to-face, because if you like how the attorney represents himself or herself in person, chances are good that the judge will like them too.
3. Select a privacy respecting Divorce Attorney
Affluent parties who want to stay out of the spotlight should not hire an attorney they see on the news with their divorce clients. This is especially true if any fame or notoriety is associated with either spouse. Instead, hire someone who is known to use discretion, maintain confidence and will be dedicated to maintaining privacy.
4. Consider the budget while hiring the lawyer
Hiring a lawyer can cost you a lot of money. Most of them charge by the hour, but there are always exceptions to the rule. With that said, it is also vital to keep in mind that not all higher-rate attorneys provide quality legal services.
5. Avoid hiring a solo practitioner.
Solo practitioners typically do not have the bandwidth to adequately address all of the needs of affluent clients. Instead, you want to hire an attorney, not necessarily in a large firm, whose practice is equipped with lawyers with various levels of skill and experience.
6. Experience in the courtroom is important.
Whether you plan to pursue a litigated divorce or a collaborative divorce, it’s important to hire someone with courtroom experience. Look for an attorney who understands how things will likely play out at the courthouse and who is familiar with the court system in the county where you reside.
7. Choose lawyer based on your Divorce condition
Before finalizing your choice of a divorce attorney, you must first determine what type of divorce process suits your needs, goal, and situation. There are seven types that you can choose from: Contested Divorce, Uncontested Divorce, At-Fault Divorce, No-Fault Divorce, Summary Divorce, Limited Divorce, Default Divorce.
8. Choose a Lawyer who maintains Professionalism
You should choose a divorce lawyer who respects and values the professional ethics of their industry. You may encounter smooth-talking lawyers who like to brag about their achievements. While there is nothing wrong with being proud of one’s successes, this should not be done in a manner that disrespects other lawyers you are considering or interviewing.
Avoid lawyers who like name-dropping and talking about their high-profile clients and cases, especially those who share confidential case information.
The average cost of divorce in the United States is $12,900 dollars. The average hourly rate is 270 dollars. Getting divorce is a painful process, but still if you have decided to get divorce then the above article will definitely help you in hiring the best lawyer.