7 Factors to Consider When Hiring Divorce Lawyers
Over 750,000 divorces take place each year. A divorce brings its own psychological and emotional issues along with potential asset loss.
If you’re one of these potential divorce cases, make sure hiring divorce mediation lawyer is a top priority for you. You can prevent creating a mess for yourself by checking out these factors when starting the legal process.
1. Does the Lawyer Specialize in Divorce Law?
Lawyers spend at least three years in school to get their Juris Doctor (JD) and then take the bar exam to become a practicing lawyer. But not all lawyers are equal.
While tax law and criminal defense attorneys have to go through the same schooling and bar exam, their skills and specialization are vastly different from divorce law.
And every divorce case is different with plenty of caveats or special circumstances. After you’ve found a divorce lawyer to handle your case, be sure to ask if they’ve dealt with a case like yours in the past.
2. Solid References
A competent lawyer will have excellent references to help demonstrate their success.
After you’re able to procure a list of references, ask these relevant questions to gain more insight:
- Did the lawyer help you achieve a desirable outcome?
- How did the lawyer ease your fears?
- What was the biggest challenge working with that attorney?
- Would you use them again if you had the choice?
In addition to a supplied reference list, check out their online reviews, too. Read these reviews with a grain of salt. People may give unfair criticism or praise.
You’ll also want to see how or if the lawyer responds to reviews. If the replies seem hostile or sarcastic, you probably don’t want to work with that attorney.
3. What Is the Cost?
Be wary of an attorney who is shy about telling you their fees or rates. You want a legal professional to be upfront and honest about how much their services cost.
It’s not always good to go with the cheapest lawyer either.
Someone who is too cheap without a solid reason probably has a weak history of making lots of concessions to the other party. They also may be new to the profession.
While there’s nothing wrong with a new lawyer, for the purpose of your divorce, you want an experienced Texas divorce lawyer ready to fight for you.
Remember, some lawyers will charge by the hour, and others will charge per case. If you haven’t built up a war chest to battle the divorce case, then ask about payment flexibility or deferred payments.
4. Do You Understand Everything?
The world of divorce law is probably a foreign language to you especially if you’ve never gone through the process. A professional lawyer will walk you through the process and explain what everything means in terms you can understand.
Everything from dates, to terms, and conditions should be explained right away.
Not only should you be able to understand everything happening, but a lawyer should answer your calls and emails in a timely manner. For example, an important question about a deadline should be answered well in advance of the stated deadline.
It’s good practice for a lawyer to reply within one business day. After two business days, you should become concerned about the promptness of your attorney.
The speed, clarity, and professionalism of communication can make the divorce process easier for you to grasp.
5. Support and Comfort
People don’t usually associate support and comfort with a lawyer; however, this situation should be an exception.
While you probably won’t call an attorney to talk out your feelings, you’ll want someone who will be okay with you doing this. For people who don’t have strong support systems, a lawyer should at least provide a therapist’s number for you.
Do you feel like you’re being ignored during this entire process? Or do you feel like you’re constantly inconveniencing your attorney?
If the answer to these questions is “yes”, then you may need a new lawyer. When you pay for someone’s professional services, you deserve to feel comfortable, too.
6. Avoid Promises
No reputable lawyer should promise you anything.
A lawyer’s job is to guide you through a divorce and help you avoid making mistakes that could jeopardize the outcomes. But no promises should be made.
This doesn’t mean you can’t take a room temperature of how things will go. Feel free to ask a lawyer where you are as far as a finish line goes.
You can also ask about different outcomes and what it means for you. For example, ask the likelihood of a worst-case scenario. A professional attorney can usually gauge a percentage. A lot of lawyers will ask peers for their opinions on your case.
The promises of outcomes or compensation by a court should never happen. You can get an idea of how things are going based on your lawyer’s experience with a case or dealing with a certain judge.
There are certain standards a lawyer should keep as a professional in the legal world. You want your attorney to demonstrate and show these cornerstones:
- Excellent communicator
- Skilled support team
Does a lawyer always show up on time to a meeting, hearings, and court dates? You want a professional who arrives a few minutes early.
A lawyer doesn’t have to wear the most expensive suit, but they need to always be in a clean suit. In fact, some judges will kick out a lawyer who isn’t presentable.
There’s a good chance you won’t just deal with one lawyer, but a full team. This team includes other attorneys, paralegals, and receptionists. They will all be professionals fighting for your side.
Hiring Divorce Lawyers Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
The process of hiring divorce lawyers can be a smooth operation by using these factors. A divorce is a huge life-changing event, so don’t leave it to chance.
You want a professional lawyer going to battle for you.
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