Unless you are fortunate enough to have a divorce that is completely uncontested, or is nearly uncontested, you’re probably going to be sticking with your divorce lawyer for awhile.
And while your divorce lawyer isn’t completely in control of everything that happens, he or she will still play a big role in how your life turns out when all is decided.
Thus, choosing your lawyer is one of the most important decisions you’ll be making during this entire process.
Check the lawyer’s reputation.
Don’t just pick a lawyer because he or she is at the top of the Google search results. That just means he or she has a pretty good marketing team. And Google is fickle anyway. Being on top doesn’t mean being the best lawyer.
Read the lawyer’s reviews. What do they say about how he or she treats her clients? Does the lawyer seem to have qualities you care about?
Is the attorney well-informed? Quick to respond to questions and concerns? Do they do what they can to move the case forward in a timely manner? Did past clients find them to be honest and professional?
Know what’s important to you.
Start by thinking about some of the qualities listed in the reviews. Which really matter to you? Are there qualities that matter to you that you don’t see listed?
Think about your divorce strategy too. If you want to try to get through the divorce with as little damage to both sides as possible then you don’t want to hire an aggressive bulldog who wants to push every matter straight to court. On the flip side, if you’re facing down an aggressive lawyer and a bullying spouse you don’t want to hire someone who will back down too quickly.
It’s important to have realistic expectations when you go into a divorce, of course, and you may not know what you want past being able to see your kids and live your life. You need to feel confident you can bring all of your questions to your attorney and receive solid advice that will guide you through this very thorny process.
It also helps to see what kinds of free information your divorce lawyer offers on his or her website. This accomplishes two things: giving you a very rough idea of what might be realistic for your case and giving you some insight into what the attorney’s strategy and temperament might be like.
Schedule a meeting.
Most family law attorneys offer an initial case evaluation for free.
The purpose of this isn’t just to get your feet in the door. It’s to help you determine whether you’re personally comfortable working with this attorney.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with this person. You’re going to be making some pretty heavy-duty decisions together. It’s important you feel respected and heard. It’s important you feel like you can be honest with the attorney you ultimately choose. You might also consider any other staff members you might interact with during the course of your case.
And finally, don’t be afraid to ask about fees. You shouldn’t have to experience any anxiety over them, and the only way to avoid that is to ask.
Click here to schedule your consultation with the Law Offices of John Bledsoe.