Hiring A Divorce Attorney – 3 Factors That Matter
It is an unfortunate aspect of hiring a divorce attorney that most people in a position to do so are not in a great frame of mind to do it right. The dissolution of a marriage is often a sudden, highly traumatic event and this isn’t conducive to making a good decision. By the same token, this is one of the primary reasons why you need to hire one. The worst thing you can do is attempt to navigate your way through a complex, legal minefield with neither the knowledge nor the mindset to do so successfully. If you can compose yourself and find temporary balance, here are three factors that matter when hiring a lawyer.
This is an easy one, because it requires no evaluation on your part. A divorce attorney either has experience or he doesn’t. He should have at least five years in the bag before you consider hiring him. This shouldn’t be five years of general law experience, either. Four years of working with wills and trusts and one year of handling divorce is not what you’re looking for. Not only do you want to find someone with relevant experience, but it also doesn’t hurt if most of that experience is local in nature. Having a lawyer who knows the judges, the way the courts work in your area, and some of the tricks that might work to your advantage can come in handy.
A good divorce attorney should have plenty of past clients willing to go on the record for them. In a best-case scenario, you’ll find your lawyer through someone you know. This is an instant referral and testimonial wrapped into one, and it comes in the form of someone you can trust. This is more valuable than the biggest and best advertisements in the city. If you found a lawyer through other means, however, you should ask them for client testimonials. No, this doesn’t mean a couple of highlighted paragraphs on a website. You should be able to speak with his or her clients and hear what they have to say.
Every divorce attorney should be a good communicator. After all, in a field that depends on negotiation and bargaining, you need someone who can talk a good game. But they should also be adept at communicating with their own clients. You can evaluate this for yourself in an initial consultation. Often provided for free by law offices looking for business, this meeting gives you a chance to feel out a lawyer. Talk to him or her. See if you actually get along. This is more important than you might think.