Going through a divorce without an attorney is never a good idea. Whether the case proceeds to court or not, having a divorce lawyer who can offer you legal advice on various issues is very important; the divorce process may have a number of surprises for those who are unfamiliar with it. In contrast, your attorney will have a thorough knowledge of the divorce process.
When you retain a divorce attorney, you're not just picking someone to offer you legal advice; you're choosing the person who will represent you if the case goes to trial. Retaining an attorney is a decision you should weigh carefully. Below are some tips to help you pick the attorney that's right for you.
Meet with More Than One Attorney
Before you decide to retain an attorney, you should meet with several other attorneys so you can decide on the best option for you. Not every attorney you meet will be a good fit and even if the first attorney you meet is seems like a good fit, the next one could be an even better. Taking the time to find a an attorney is important. If you end up with an experienced and competent lawyer who is a good fit for you, then you'll have someone great working for you who can recover much more value than what they charge.
Be Sure Your Attorney "Tells It Like It Is"
Although you may be in desperate need of positive news when going through a divorce, having an attorney who is straightforward and direct is often best. You need someone who will be able to give you candid opinions and a realistic assessment of your case. You'll also be set up for realistic expectations of what you'll receive in the divorce.
Don't Judge Based on Lowest Retainer Fees
Retainer fees vary from attorney to attorney. Many clients fail to understand that the retainer fee is only an advance. A great thing to consider, in addition to the cost of the retainer, is how efficient and successful the lawyer is at closing out cases with high value. If they can finish your case within the amount of time allotted by the retainer, and do it well, this is more important than asking for a lower retainer to begin with.
Retaining an Aggressive Lawyer Can Complicate the Divorce Process
If you're in a contested divorce, you may think that an aggressive lawyer is what you need. However, being overly aggressive doesn't mean that your lawyer is good. In fact, it can result in the court deciding that you should pay your spouse's legal fees in addition to your own. Be sure to find a reasonable lawyer who fights fair and wants to get you a good settlement without making the process longer than it needs to be.