How to Choose a Divorce Attorney
When a person makes the decision to divorce, there are dozens of different things to consider, from where one will live while the divorce is pending to how issues in the divorce will be resolved and more. But before any major decisions are made, there’s something else to think about: who will provide legal representation during the divorce process. As you think about how to choose a divorce attorney to represent you during your divorce case, keep the following in mind:
Know Your Unique Needs
Before you hire a divorce attorney or even start the divorce attorney search, it’s important that you understand your unique needs relative to your divorce. For example, do you have kids? If so, then considerations about child custody and support will be part of your divorce process. Are you in a high-asset marriage? Do you and your spouse own a business that will need to be valued and divided during a divorce?
The issues pertaining to your divorce aren’t the only personal needs you should consider. You’ll also want to think about the relationship you want to have with your divorce lawyer and your involvement during the divorce process. Do you want to be involved every step of the way, or would you rather have your attorney manage the majority of the case for you?
Finally, you also need to consider your needs related to legal costs. How much can you afford to pay an attorney? Are there other sources of financial support that you can seek to help you hire the right attorney for you?
Your Attorney’s Background, Experience, and Focus
Once you have identified the things that are most important to you in a divorce and the relationship you want to have with your divorce lawyer (as well as how much you’re willing to pay), the next step is to start searching for a divorce attorney. Some important questions to ask potential lawyers are:
- What types of divorce cases do you usually work on? Some divorce lawyers primarily work on high-asset divorce cases, others on cases involving children, and yet others on grey divorces. Make sure that the attorney you hire has experience working on divorce cases similar to yours.
- How long have you been practicing family law? While there is nothing wrong with being a newer lawyer, as the old adage goes, “practice makes perfect.” The more experience that your attorney has, the better equipped they may be to handle complicated issues in your divorce and best represent your interests.
- Do your cases usually settle or go to trial? It’s important to hire an attorney who is a skilled negotiator and who knows how to settle cases in their clients’ best interests. However, you also want an attorney who has represented clients in court before, too. In the event that your divorce case results in litigation, you want to be able to turn to an experienced legal representative for guidance and support.
- How much do you charge? How much an attorney charges and how they charge (i.e. retainer fee, hourly, flat fee, etc.) is a very important consideration. Be sure that you have a clear understanding of how your attorney charges before you hire them.
Finding the Right Attorney
Before you are able to ask potential attorneys questions about their experience, background, and fee structures, you’ll need to identify them first. What’s the best way to go about finding the right attorney to represent you during your divorce case?
First, ask around – Do you have any family members or close friends who recently divorced and, if so, did they have a good experience with their divorce lawyer? Asking for recommendations is one of the best ways to identify an attorney worth hiring.
Second, conduct a local search online. Once you identify a few attorneys near you, read client testimonials and check out lawyer review sites, such as Martindale-Hubbell. If an attorney has strong reviews, it’s worth calling them and setting up a consultation.
Reach Out to the Office of Crystal Collins Spencer, Attorney at Law Today
No matter how ready you are, getting a divorce is hard, and going through the process on your own isn’t just a risky legal move, it’s also something can be emotionally draining as well. At the law office of Crystal Collins Spencer, Attorney at Law, our Florida divorce lawyers are here to help. Please call us today at 850-912-8080, send us a message telling us more about your case, or stop by one of our offices in Pensacola, Sandestin, or Fort Walton Beach today.