Tips to Find the Right Divorce Lawyer

Tips to Find the Right Divorce Lawyer

There's nothing good about a divorce, neither for the couple nor their friends and family. More often than not, divorce cases are accompanied by a feeling of distrust and dislike between the couple. This could cause a rift between them with a flurry of emotions that can overwhelm any human being.

It's a big step for any individual, albeit a possibly necessary one where the person wants to move on from their past life, which can be due to a number of reasons. Still, the way your separation works out is likely to have a life-long impact on you. Therefore, whether you want a divorce or are willing to save your marriage, it's best to hire legal help.

Tips to Hire the Right Divorce Attorney

Court cases are won on evidence, witnesses, and the quality of legal representation. Hiring the right divorce attorney to represent your interest isn't an easy task. After all, you'd be trusting your personal life and happiness with a stranger. This is why conducting your own due diligence on hiring the best legal service is immensely important.

There are millions of divorce lawyers out there, but only a few can understand your feelings and vouch for them in the court of law. Moreover, every attorney has a particular niche of their own. Whether it's about the same profession, walk of life, or perhaps your long-standing family lawyer, not all attorneys can understand your situation without a sense of relatability.

If you're looking for the right attorney to represent you in a divorce case or need a settlement expert, these tips below can help you to narrow down your search by asking the right questions:

  • Attorney's Experience

    While facing a divorce petition in court, you'd want to have an attorney on your side with considerable legal experience to back on. The cases that your attorney may have dealt with in the past would tell you a lot about his skill as a lawyer. After all, you don't want to keep a constant check on the progress made by your lawyer to ensure if he's doing his job properly.

    Divorce cases are stressful situations that may overwhelm the best of us. Divorce petitions don't have to end with a judge's ruling; many parties also prefer a settlement outside the courtroom. So it's prudent to ask your attorney about their negotiating skills and settlement record.

    Moreover, your marriage doesn't have to end on a bitter note. There's such a thing as a 'collaborative divorce,' which is similar to a settlement where the parties mutually agree on the terms of their separation. Your attorney should have a decent prior experience of all these situations so that they can fight for your interest and deliver results that are best for your financial and emotional wellbeing.

    If your divorce involves a settlement of the financial dispute, like business valuation, your lawyer should also have a prior history of handling financial settlements.

  • Check their Accreditations

    Though many states don't have certifications for divorce lawyers, you can still find out about accreditation that has been accorded to the lawyer. Lawyers with impartial accreditations like peer-reviewed super lawyers and trial lawyers can be a good fit to handle your divorce case.

    The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) offers a list of divorce lawyers in the country, a good place to start filtering out the best prospects for the job at hand.

    Many states also have the Board of Bar Overseers, which publishes information on licensed attorneys in their state. Check for any disciplinary record or other cause for concern on your attorney.

  • Any Conflict of Interest

    Conflict of interest is an issue that can be overlooked by parties engaged in legal disputes. However, foul play aside, conflict of interest is a key undertone that you should bear in mind. Find out if your attorney is familiar with your spouse in any way, personally or professionally.

    Any lawyer who is even an acquaintance of your spouse should not be considered. This is because having any familiarity with the opposing party in a legal dispute can hinder the attorney's judgment. This incapacitates them to perform without a bias and represent your best interests.

    The conflict of interest doesn't just end with your spouse. You also need to know about your attorney's relationship with the opposing counsel. Maybe they studied law together, practiced at the same firm, or attended a seminar together. Whatever the case be, you should have prior knowledge of your attorney before you put him on record.

  • Know their Legal and Personal Opinion

    This Is perhaps the most pertinent question of them all; what is your attorney's opinion on your divorce issue? Is he eyeing settlement opportunities, or is he prepping up to take it to the courtroom?

    Most importantly, does he believe that you deserve the ruling or compensation that you're asking for?

    Before the trial starts, you should have the answer to these questions above, as it's vital that you and your attorney look eye-to-eye on this one. Any disagreement between the client and attorney could harm the case going their way.

  • Know Your Legal Team

    After all the research you've done on hiring the best attorney for yourself, you don't want to be pawned off to another lawyer at their firm. There's a reason you've chosen the particular attorney to represent you. The other attorney might not have the attributes you're looking for.

    However, it's not uncommon to have co-counsels to a complex case. Your lead attorney could appoint a second chair to assist him during the proceedings. In this case, ask your lawyer beforehand to schedule a meeting with all the counsels present so that everyone involved is on-board with your case and your objective.

    Remember that how your legal team represents you will leave a lasting impression on your future. So ideally, there should be a few sessions for the trial prep when you and your whole legal team go over every angle and aspect involved in the proceedings.

  • Availability

    Putting in as few words as possible, is your attorney available for any queries or case-related discussions with you, or are you spending hours trying to get through their secretaries in the hope of a conversation?

    Divorce cases, like other types of litigations, can take unexpected twists at any time. Therefore, there's an essential need for the client and attorney to constantly stay in touch with one another to discuss the matter at hand and chart the future course of action. If your lawyer isn't prompt or you feel like you aren't being tended to, it's wise to change your lawyer.

    Also, remember to ask your attorney about the number of cases they're presently working on. With a heavy caseload, your attorney may be unable to give your case the attention it deserves.

  • Legal Fees

    This is a factor that is considered a priority by every client but is often the last topic of the consultation session between a lawyer and client. Legal fee involves a sum of consultancy charges, retainer fee, and the hourly billing rate on which the law firm operates.

    Ask your lawyer to detail out all the legal expenses you'd have to incur in case the trial goes to court. It's important to know if you'll be able to afford their legal services or not before discussing the particulars.

    If there are other attorneys on record as well, then you should be sure that their fee is included in the total cost charged, nor are they separate from your lead attorney's fee.

  • Find Lawyers in Your Geographical Area

    You should also pay heed to the geographical location of the attorney. Not only will it help your logistical cause, but it also reduces unnecessary delays in approaching the court.

    But your location isn't the only decisive factor here. You should check with your county regulations for divorce proceedings to know which probate and family court has been assigned your case. Then find an attorney with the convenience of being close to both the court and your home.

  • Take Interviews

    So now that you know the criteria of filtering through divorce attorneys, it's time to take personal interviews with the shortlisted candidates.

    This is the most critical part of the whole process. The ruling of your divorce case will largely be determined by your legal team. Examine their behavior and reaction while asking questions related to their experience, expertise, fee, etc. Don't fall for overwhelming promises, and watch out for any red flags such as indifference towards your case before finalizing one.

Hire the Best Divorce Attorneys in Orange County

Are you looking for legal divorce and settlement experts in Orange County?

Jos Family Law is a team of leading attorneys in California with proficiency in handling all family-related matters, including divorce, settlement, and child custodianship. Get in touch with one of our attorneys today to represent your interests during this critical phase of your life.

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